Class action in employment law is a type of lawsuit where one or more employees sue the employer on behalf of a large group of employees who have a common interest in the action. In this manner claims of many people or even a whole class of people can be resolved at the same time within one lawsuit.
The idea of the class action lawsuit is to allow all members of the affected large group or class, which possess a common interest in the in the outcome of the lawsuit, to be represented even if some of them are absent at the time of the action. The class action is an efficient way to resolve disputes involving large number of people with similar claims.
Under the law, a class action is proper if it satisfies the following initial requirements:
1. The group or class of plaintiffs is too numerous to proceed in an ordinary manner (it makes a joinder of all parties impracticable).
2. There should be certain issues (questions of law or facts) common to all members of the group or class. These issues should predominate over members’ individual issues.
3. The representatives’ claims should be typical for all members of the group or class.
4. The representatives should adequately represent the members of the group or class (including those who are absent).
5. A class action should be the superior method to handle the dispute.
At an early stage the court should determine whether the class action is appropriate in the given case. If there is a settlement in the case, it should be approved by the court.
The class action suits often alert the public to discrimination, fraud, health and safety problems. It’s an effective means to hold employers accountable for widespread harm and injustice at workplace that would otherwise go unchecked.
Class action suits helped to remedy employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, national origin, disability and age.