A class action is a type of lawsuit in which one or several persons sue on behalf of a group of people. These types of legal actions are commonly brought when an employer’s practices adversely impact a large number of employees, causing them to suffer discrimination, wage loss, or other workplace violations. In circumstances where it would be more practical to bring one legal action — rather than each worker commence a separate lawsuit — a class action can ensure an efficient and cost-effective resolution.
By way of example, if employees have been deprived of wages or overtime, forced to endure discriminatory workplace practices, or lost their pension or healthcare benefits, a class action lawsuit can hold an employer accountable. Stember Cohn & Davidson-Welling LLC is committed to representing the interests of workers in class action lawsuits and securing the justice they deserve.
Class actions are generally used in employment cases when an employer has implemented an unlawful practice, rule, or policy that affects a large group of similar workers. In such cases, one worker can represent a group of employees known as a “class.” Any employee who suffers the same harm addressed in the lawsuit can join the class action — unless they decide to opt-out.
In order to bring a class action lawsuit, several criteria must be met. Specifically, the class must be so numerous that individual lawsuits would not be practical, and there must be a common legal issue among each class member. In addition, the claims of the representative party must be typical of the claims in the class, and they must be adequately prepared to pursue the case on behalf of the class.
Examples of cases where a class action lawsuit might be filed can include situations in which:
Class action cases can be complex — they require specific skills and resources to prosecute successfully. The class action attorneys at Stember Cohn & Davidson-Welling have represented workers in class actions, in Pennsylvania, and other parts of the United States.
A class action lawsuit is often the most effective and efficient vehicle for vindicating workers’ rights. Through class action litigation, employees can create company-wide changes to prevent future violations. Where an employer’s wrongful or illegal conduct affects many employees, a class action can provide an effective remedy for the group without incurring the costs of thousands of separate lawsuits or the risk of inconsistent court decisions. Importantly, a class action can make litigation cost-effective in situations where each affected employee has suffered only limited damages and the cost of individual lawsuits would be far greater than the value of each claim.
Members of a class may be entitled to various damages in a class action lawsuit, including the monetary losses they suffered as a result of their employer’s wrongdoing. Depending on the facts and circumstances, this can include back pay, front pay, and other compensatory damages. An injunction might also be issued to correct harmful practices or policies. In addition, the representative plaintiff in the class may be eligible to receive an incentive award for the work done on behalf of the class.
Our most recent class action successes include obtaining an injunction ordering the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to pay a class of retired VA nurses tens of millions of dollars (and counting) in back due retirement funds, a win for hospital workers under the WARN Act after their employer shutdown without adequate notice, and the reinstatement of a case brought on behalf of retirees whose life insurance was canceled.
At Stember Cohn & Davidson-Welling, our class action attorneys have investigated and litigated a variety of complex workplace issues. We know what it takes to stand up against some of the largest companies — and prevail.
If you think you have a legal claim and many others are similarly affected, we welcome you to contact us to schedule a complimentary initial consultation by calling (412) 338-1445 or emailing us. Located in Pittsburgh, Stember Cohn & Davidson-Welling LLC provides representation for a wide variety of class action matters to clients in Pittsburgh and throughout Western Pennsylvania.