[Continued from Part 1]
Welcome back to the second half of our two-part article on how start a class action lawsuit against your employer. Last time we talked about how most class actions start with one person who decides not to take a violation of their employee rights lying down. Over time, they realize there are many other employees who have been treated unfairly in the same way. Once a pattern emerges, you have an opportunity to bring these abuses to light, win compensation for yourself and your colleagues, and force our company to take responsibility for their bad behavior.
Join us today as we pick up where we left off.
The Investigation and Strength in Numbers
Once it is realized that the employer has a pattern of discriminatory promotion, raise provision, and possibly hiring practices, the ball is rolling. It’s time to investigate the company’s history of mistreatment beyond the few people you have already identified. There are a number of ways to do this using resources both inside and outside the company. In this process, it is vital that you carefully obey the law if your intention is to access employee files or hunt down employees that may be in a similar situation to the one you and your coworkers have experienced.
Often, the safest starting place is with employees who have been fired, laid off, or quit in the last ten years. You may be able to find them by searching LinkedIn, for example, for people with this company listed as a previous employer.
The most important thing to remember is that there is strength in numbers. While your company may be able to punish, intimidate, or even bribe one or two employees (or past employees) into keeping quiet about their mistreatment, a large group of employees who all tell the same story cannot be so easily ‘hushed up’. And anyone who is no longer working for the company has more ability to speak freely about their experiences without fear of retaliation.
Working with a Class Action Lawyer
Once you have a large and growing group of people who have all experience mistreatment at the hands of the company, it’s time to contact a lawyer. An experienced class action attorney will take an interest in your case and be able to advise you on the next logical steps to a successful class action suit.
Most likely, they will help you clarify your points, narrowing down the many stories of mistreatment into a few actionable legal infractions. Companies that form a pattern of abuse often have several ways in which they mistreat employees and refining these issues into legal points is critical to making a strong case.
They will also help you choose a single primary defendant, one person whose story will define how the class action is addressed in court.
The Primary Defendant
The way class actions work, the court focuses on a single defendant whose story epitomizes the abuses of the company being sued. This defendant needs to be your best possible representative because the results of the trial based on their situation will affect the outcome for everyone involved. The purpose of a primary defendant is to simplify the court case. Rather than hearing dozens of stories, the jury and judge will hear one defining story that is easy to understand and clarifies exactly how the company has been mistreating all employees in a similar way.
The primary defendant needs to have a strong case against the company, no holes in their story, and ideally no questionable behavior during or after their employment that the company’s lawyers can pick at to reduce their credibility in the eyes of the jury. This is the best way to present a strong class action suit and get a definitive favorable result for everyone involved.
Getting the Justice You Deserve from Your Employer
Employers targeted by class action suits tend to play dirty. After all, playing dirty is how they created a pool of mistreated employees and ex-employees in the first place. They will likely make false accusations to defend their actions, deny bias or overt mistreatment, and protect their ‘pet’ managers who have been getting away with employee abuses. For these reasons, and to make a strong case of your own, you need an experienced class action lawyer capable of defending each and every one of your employee rights.
Here at Aiman-Smith and Marcy, we specialize in protecting employees from the abuses of large companies who think they can get away with mistreatment just because they are large and have deep pockets. Let us defend your employee rights and help you get the justice and compensation you deserve for experiencing mistreatment at the hands of your employer.