Chicago Class Action Employment Lawyer

Employment class action lawsuits are among the most commonly filed class actions. These cases involve groups of employees who sue their common employer. Employment class actions typically involve large companies or corporations. Employees band together to give their claim more legitimacy and to secure better representation. While one employee suing a large conglomerate for something like wrongful termination might be difficult, a group has more leverage and resources to prove their case.

At Ankin Law, our experienced class action employment lawyers have the skills necessary to go up against corporate entities and their legal teams. When you secure our team as your legal counsel, you get:

  • 24/7 Access to your legal team
  • 100 years of combined experience fighting for victim’s rights
  • A FREE consultation to determine if you have a case
  • YOUR FEES ARE COVERED until you win your case

Are you facing workplace discrimination? Call a class action employment lawyer at Ankin Law to protect your rights. (312) 600-0000.

What Is an Employment Class Action Lawsuit?

An employment class action lawsuit is a legal action where a group of employees collectively sue their employer for alleged violations of labor laws or unfair employment practices. This type of lawsuit arises when numerous employees have suffered similar grievances or harms, such as discrimination, wage violations, harassment, or denial of benefits. Rather than each employee filing an individual lawsuit, which can be costly and time-consuming, they join together as a class to streamline the legal process and increase their leverage against the employer.

The class action lawsuit process begins with one or more employees, known as class representatives, filing a lawsuit on behalf of themselves and others similarly affected (the class). A court must certify the class before the lawsuit can proceed as a class action, ensuring that the claims and circumstances of the class members are sufficiently similar.

If successful, the court’s judgment or settlement applies to all class members, who may receive compensation or other remedies as determined by the court. Employment class action lawsuits serve to hold employers accountable for widespread violations, promote efficiency in legal proceedings, and provide a collective voice for employees who may otherwise face challenges in seeking justice individually.

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as co-counsel for a client who suffocated and died while cleaning her tracheotomy. 2016.
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as co-counsel for anesthesia death. 2015.

Grounds for a Class Action Lawsuit Against an Employer

Grounds for a lawsuit against an employer in an employment class action include allegations of widespread violations of labor laws or discriminatory practices affecting multiple employees. These grounds may encompass issues such as unpaid wages, improper classification (e.g., misclassification of employees as independent contractors), discrimination based on race, gender, age, or other protected characteristics, harassment, retaliation for whistleblowing, or denial of benefits. 

Types of Employment Class Action Lawsuits

Examples of employer violations that may yield a class action lawsuit include:

  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Violations: Failure to pay minimum wage, unpaid overtime, and improper classification of employees as exempt from overtime are examples.
  • Discrimination: These are based on race, gender, age, religion, disability, or other protected characteristics, and can include systemic bias in hiring, promotion, or termination.
  • Harassment and Hostile Work Environment: These violations encompass persistent harassment creating a hostile workplace or a failure to address complaints of harassment or discrimination.
  • Violations of Equal Pay Laws: Gender-based pay disparities for substantially similar work.
  • Denial of Benefits: Unlawful denial or mismanagement of health benefits, retirement plans, or other employee benefits.
  • Retaliation for Protected Activities: These include retaliation against whistleblowers and retaliation for filing complaints with regulatory agencies or participating in investigations.
  • Violation of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Denial of leave or retaliation for taking FMLA leave.
  • Safety and Health Violations: Failure to provide a safe working environment or retaliation for reporting safety concerns.
  • Privacy Violations: Unauthorized monitoring of employee communications or invasion of privacy.

These violations, when affecting a group of employees collectively, can form the basis for an employment class action lawsuit. The key is that the alleged misconduct affects a group of employees similarly, justifying a collective legal action rather than individual lawsuits.

How Can a Class Action Employment Lawyer at Ankin Law Help You?

A class action employment lawyer specializes in representing groups of employees who have been similarly harmed or wronged by their employer. At Ankin Law, our class action employment lawyers can help you by:

Assessing Your Claim

One of our class action lawyers will evaluate the circumstances of your case to determine if there are sufficient grounds for a class action lawsuit. This involves reviewing evidence, interviewing potential class members, and assessing the legal viability of the claims.

Forming a Class

If your case qualifies, we will help form a class of plaintiffs who have experienced similar issues, such as wage violations, discrimination, or denial of benefits. We will identify representative plaintiffs who can best represent the interests of the entire class, including you.

Developing a Legal Strategy

Developing a sound legal strategy is crucial in class action lawsuits. We will formulate arguments, gather evidence, and plan the approach to maximize the chances of success in court or during settlement negotiations.

Negotiating a Settlement and Representing You in Court

Many class action lawsuits are resolved through settlements rather than going to trial. We will negotiate on behalf of the class to achieve a fair and adequate settlement that compensates class members for their losses and addresses the underlying issues.

Class action lawsuits can be complex and lengthy. We will represent you and the class throughout all stages of the litigation process, including filing the lawsuit, attending hearings, conducting discovery, and presenting arguments in court.

Distribution of Settlement Funds

If a settlement is reached or a judgment is awarded in favor of the class, our attorneys ensure that the distribution of funds or benefits to class members is fair and equitable according to the terms agreed upon.

Even after a settlement or judgment, we continue to monitor the employer’s compliance with the terms of the agreement. This may involve ensuring that policy changes are implemented, benefits are properly distributed, or other corrective actions are taken.

Covering Your Legal Fees Until You Win

Our class action lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only get paid if the case is successful. This allows employees who might not otherwise afford legal representation to pursue justice without upfront costs.

Beyond the legal process, the class action lawyers at Ankin Law empower employees by giving them a collective voice against powerful employers. We advocate for systemic changes that can prevent future violations and improve workplace conditions for all employees.

Is your employer guilty of employment law violations? Call Ankin Law at (312) 600-0000 to build a case today.

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    How Much Is My Employment Class Action Lawsuit Worth?

    Determining the value of an employment class action lawsuit involves calculating the damages recoverable, understanding how settlements are distributed among the class members, and considering external influences that can affect the overall value of the case.

    Damages Recoverable in an employment Class Action Lawsuit

    There are three primary types of damages in an employment class action settlement.

    • Compensatory Damages: These are intended to compensate class members for losses suffered due to the employer’s actions. In employment class actions, compensatory damages can include back wages for unpaid overtime, unpaid wages, or benefits denied, as well as compensation for emotional distress caused by discrimination or harassment.
    • Punitive Damages: In cases where the employer’s conduct is particularly egregious or intentional, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the employer and deter similar behavior in the future. However, punitive damages are not always available and are subject to legal limitations in many jurisdictions.
    • Attorneys’ Fees and Costs: Class action lawsuits involve legal expenses. Attorneys’ fees and costs incurred during the litigation process are recoverable and are often awarded separately from the damages recovered by the class members.

    How Is an Employment Class Action Settlement Distributed?

    When a settlement is reached in an employment class action lawsuit, the distribution of funds or benefits among the class members is determined based on:

    • Class Size: The total amount of the settlement fund may be divided among all class members based on the number of individuals affected by the employer’s actions.
    • Damages Calculation: Each class member’s share of the settlement may be calculated based on the harm he or she suffered. For example, individuals who worked longer hours without proper compensation may receive more than those who were impacted to a lesser extent.
    • Class Representatives: The named plaintiffs or class representatives who initiated the lawsuit on behalf of the class may receive additional compensation for their role in representing the interests of the class members.
    • Claims Administration: An independent administrator may be appointed to oversee the distribution of the settlement funds and ensure that class members receive their share according to the terms of the settlement agreement.

    Every employment class action lawsuit is unique, and the value of each case will depend on the circumstances of the employer’s conduct. Consulting with an experienced class action employment lawyer can provide a clearer understanding of the outcomes and value of your particular case.

    When Can You File a Class Action Lawsuit Against an Employer?

    In Illinois, you can file a class action lawsuit against an employer when multiple employees have been similarly harmed by the employer’s actions or policies. Key criteria for these cases include:

    • Commonality: There must be common issues of law or fact among the class members, meaning their claims must arise from the same legal circumstances or practices of the employer.
    • Numerosity: The class must be large enough that joining all members individually in a lawsuit would be impractical.
    • Typicality: The claims of the named plaintiffs (representatives of the class) must be typical of those of the class members.

    Statute of Limitations for Employment Class Action Lawsuits in Illinois

    In Illinois, the statute of limitations for most employment-related claims, such as wage violations or discrimination, is generally 5 years. This means that you must file your class action lawsuit within 5 years from the date of the alleged violation. However, specific statutes of limitations can vary depending on the nature of the claim, so consulting with a lawyer to ensure compliance with deadlines is crucial.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Employment Class Action Lawsuits

    1

    How Do I Join an Employment Class Action Lawsuit?

    To join an employment class action lawsuit, determine if you qualify as a member of the affected class based on shared grievances. Typically, you’ll be notified if you’re eligible based on records or public notices. Alternatively, you can contact the law firm representing the class or seek legal counsel to confirm eligibility and participate in the lawsuit by providing necessary information and documentation to support your claim.

    2

    How Do I Know If I Have a Lawsuit Against My Employer?

    You may have a lawsuit against your employer if you’ve experienced violations of labor laws, denial of benefits, retaliation for whistleblowing, or unsafe working conditions. Evaluate if the issue affects others similarly. Consult with an employment lawyer at Ankin Law to review your case’s merits, assess evidence, and understand legal options. 

    3

    What Constitutes Discrimination in the Workplace?

    Discrimination in the workplace occurs when an employer treats an employee unfairly based on characteristics such as race, gender, age, religion, disability, national origin, or sexual orientation. This can include hiring, firing, pay, promotions, or other terms of employment decisions based on these protected characteristics. Discrimination may also manifest through harassment or creating a hostile work environment based on these factors, violating federal and state anti-discrimination laws.

    4

    How Much Does an Employment Class Action Lawsuit Cost?

    Employment class action lawsuits typically operate on a contingency fee basis, where lawyers are paid a percentage of any settlement or judgment awarded to the class if successful. This means class members generally do not pay upfront legal fees. Costs such as court filing fees, expert witness fees, and administrative expenses are typically advanced by the law firm and reimbursed from the settlement or judgment funds if the case succeeds.

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