Philadelphia Employment Class Actions Attorneys
Representing Workers in Pennsylvania Employment Class Action Lawsuits
At Sacks Weston LLC, we have extensive experience representing workers in employment class action lawsuits. A class action lawsuit is a case that involves the interests of not just one individual, but many individuals fighting for a common cause. In employment class action suits, employees who have found a common employer to be at fault for violating certain employment or labor laws can come together and file a single suit. Our Philadelphia employment class action lawyers have represented employees in high-profile cases against some of the nation's large corporations.
Common Employment Class Actions in PA and NJ
As mandated by law, the workplace must be an environment in which all employees are able to thrive, requiring employers to adhere to labor laws and workplace safety regulations. When employers disregard the safety, rights, and well-being of an employee, workers can file a class action lawsuit to seek damages and legal remedies.
Wrongful termination, discrimination, missed breaks, and the promotion of a hostile workplace are often at the center of employee class action lawsuits, but other common issues involve:
- Minimum Wage Violations: The federal government and most states impose a minimum wage for covered nonexempt employees. It is illegal for employers to pay their employees less than the legal minimum wage.
- Misclassifying Workers as Independent Contractors: This occurs when employers wrongfully classify workers as independent contractors instead of employee. Employers engage in this illegal practice to avoid paying payroll taxes, minimum wages, overtime wages, and business expenses.
- Misclassifying Workers as Salaried Employees to Avoid Overtime Pay: Employers must pay non-exempt employees the minimum wage, plus time-and-a-half for every hour exceeding 40 hours in a week. To avoid paying overtime, however, many employers classify their employees as exempt (“salaried”), which is illegal. Many employers assign meaningless “manager” labels to employees to avoid paying them overtime. This practice is illegal.
- Tip Stealing: Employers are prohibited from using an employee’s tips for any reason besides as a credit against their minimum wage obligation to the employee (tip credit) or in furtherance of a legal tip pool.
- Forced “Off-the-Clock” Work: Employers cannot require their hourly employees to work off-the-clock before or after their shifts. Employers will often disguise “off-the-clock” work as training hours, promotional events, and note-taking time. Non-exempt employees must be compensated for all hours worked, regardless of the nature of the work.
- Miscalculation of Work Time & Overtime Pay: Under the FLSA, employees who worked beyond 40 hours a week must get paid time-and-a-half for every additional hour they work.
- Requiring Employees to Incur Business Expenses: Unfortunately, one too many employers require employees to use their own money to cover business-related expenses such as tools and equipment. Businesses that fail to reimburse such expenses may be liable to the employee.
- Prevailing Wage Law Violations: The U.S. Department of Labor defines the prevailing wage rate as the average wage paid to similarly employed workers in a specific occupation in the area of intended employment. State and federal governments have prevailing wage laws to enforce pay rates for certain contractors and vendors working for government entities. The goal of these laws is to level the playing field and protect contractors working on federally-funded projects by ensuring that they pay the same wage rates and benefits, which vary based on the classification of the worker. When prevailing wage laws are violated, however, workers are encouraged to pursue legal action.
How Many People Are Needed to File a Class Action Lawsuit?
There is no exact amount of people needed to file a class action lawsuit. One individual can file a lawsuit on behalf on an entire group.
Steps to Filing a Class Action Lawsuit
Before filing for a lawsuit, it's important to try and speak with your employer first. When both sides speak their mind, there is a possibility of negotiation and mending. If a compromise cannot be made, then document the issues you are experiencing. Be wary about collecting documents that are confidential. For example, don't disclose any client information that is meant to be private.
Once your evidence is gathered, you may file a complaint with the court which asserts the legal claims being made against the defendant. In order to certify the case as a class action, several requirements must be met.
When the court approves of the class action, you will enter the discovery phase where additional evidence and testimony is gathered. In the final step, you will proceed to a trial in front of a judge and/or jury, where liability and damages are awarded.
If you feel that your rights are being violated in the workplace, you are not alone. Speaking up can help protect not only you but the rights of your coworkers as well. A class action lawsuit can also spark workplace reform and promote more workplace equality and safety across all industries.
At Sacks Weston LLC, we make it our mission to protect and uphold the rights of workers. Speak with our Philadelphia employment class action lawyers to explore your options. Call (215) 764-3008 today.
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