Although many businesses foster a positive work environment and take good care of their employees, others have a reputation for taking advantage of workers. Class action lawsuits brought by employees are on the rise.
According to the Society of Human Resources Management, the top ten class action lawsuits for employment discrimination totaled $597 million in 2022. Understanding the top reasons employees file class action lawsuits can help people determine if they should take legal action against their employer.
Wage and hour violations
A common reason why employees come together in a class action lawsuit is because they believe their bosses broke the rules about paying them fairly for their time at work. Workers might say that their employers did not pay them minimum wage or overtime. They may also say they did not receive the required breaks.
Another catalyst for class action lawsuits stems from claims of discrimination within the workplace. Employees might allege discrimination based on gender, race, age or other protected characteristics. By joining forces and filing a class action lawsuit, workers seek to challenge systemic bias and foster a workplace environment that is fair, inclusive and free from discrimination.
Unsafe working conditions
In some instances, employees band together to address concerns related to workplace safety. Allegations of hazardous working conditions, inadequate safety measures or exposure to harmful substances can prompt workers to file class action lawsuits. By doing so, they aim to hold their employers accountable for providing a safe and secure work environment.
Class action lawsuits also emerge when employees believe that their employer fails to give entitled benefits, such as healthcare, retirement plans or stock options. Workers may unite to safeguard their rights and seek compensation for perceived violations of benefit-related agreements.
Harassment and retaliation
Workplace harassment or retaliation is another reason for class action lawsuits. Employees who say their employers mistreated or punished them for reporting wrongdoing can find power in working together. This shows the importance of having a workplace culture that actively stops and deals with this kind of bad behavior.
Employees can band together and file a class action lawsuit to address issues with their employers. Speaking out against unfair treatment promotes the development of an ethical workplace.