Class Action Employment Claims

Class action employment claims can present the potential for enormous financial exposure, setting aside the bad press that may accompany such claims. These cases can be an employer’s worst nightmare — they have the potential to allow a single plaintiff to represent the claims of tens, hundreds or even thousands of potential putative class member employees. Such claims can involve claims of underpayment of wages, discrimination in hiring, mandatory retirement age for employees, discrimination in promotions, disparity in pay and other claims involving employees who claim they were similarly (mis)treated. An adverse ruling by a court in such cases can be financially ruinous. Employers facing such claims have especially difficult choices to make, such as:

  • Whether (and when) to attempt to settle a frivolous claim to avoid the cost and risk of such litigation.
  • How to calculate the impact that litigation and class discovery could have on ongoing business operations.
  • Assessing how to limit confidential and proprietary information from disclosure during class litigation.
  • Whether to fight certification of a class and/or whether to seek to limit the scope of a certified class.
  • How to calculate the potential exposure and defense costs of class claims.

Taft’s Labor and Employment attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help employers facing class claims and collective actions navigate through these and many other difficult choices. We understand the urgency of obtaining a successful outcome to our clients, whether that be accomplished through an early negotiated individual or class-wide resolution, defeating class certification, successful motion practice, or a “bet-the-company” trial.

With respect to class action employment claims, we provide the following services to our clients:

  • Defend employers from collective wage actions under the FLSA.
  • Evaluate and advise on the legality of employment selection devices, such as written and physical tests, that may be the basis of a disparate impact discrimination claim.
  • Defend employers from claims of disparate impact discrimination in federal court litigation.
  • Advise on employment policies that could lead to class claims.

Our attorneys are recognized in publications such as Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers and Indiana, Illinois and Ohio Super Lawyers. One Taft partner is a contributor to the treatise “The Fair Labor Standards Act,” published by the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law.

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