Articles Posted in Class Action

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a gender employment lawsuit against Wal-Mart in what has become the largest class-action employment lawsuit in U.S. history.

Our San Bernardino discrimination attorneys understand the challenges faced by employees of big-box stores and other large retailers. Wal-Mart has grown to become the nation’s largest employer and has been taken to court for previous allegations of unfair labor practices. Giant retailers have an obligation to treat employees fairly. In some cases, unfair labor practices may be company wide. In other cases, a discrimination lawsuit in Orange County, Riverside or elsewhere in Southern California may be filed as a result of working conditions specific to a single store or involving a single manager.
CNN reports the nation’s high court has accepted the Arkansas-based company’s appeal in a case of corporate versus workers rights. The 6-5 San Francisco circuit court opinion earlier this year permitted the multiparty litigation to move forward. A verdict could cost the company billions of dollars in damages.

The allegations are that Wal-Mart engaged in gender bias in pay and promotion of workers at its stores throughout the United States. The court will decide whether as many as 1.6 million current and former Wal-Mart employees can ban together to claim discrimination over the past decade. The lawsuit claims women were paid less and given fewer opportunity for promotions than the men employed by Wal-Mart.

Plaintiffs claim women make up more than 70 percent of Wal-Mart’s hourly workforce but have made up less than one-third of its store management. The original lawsuit was filed in 2001 by a Pittsburg, California door greater and five coworkers.
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Servers working in restaurants, especially the larger and busier chains, need to know their rights when it comes to overtime, rest and meal breaks and compensation paid to other employees. A practice that is somewhat prevalent in the industry is the requirement that servers pay a portion of the wages of other co-workers who don’t share in the tips paid by patrons. This practice could include the requirement of servers to pay a sum to those that break their shifts. Orange County Employee’s Rights Attorneys of Employment Law Team, are currently working on two class actions that deal with servers being required to pay “breakers” and having to share tips with hostesses. One of our cases involves a practice that is alleged in the complaint to be in violation of “on-call” laws. Contact our Orange County Employment attorneys if you’d like to learn more.

Attorneys of Fakhimi & Associates along with other co-counsel and associated counsel were able to reach a settlement agreement on a class action on behalf of truckers working for a central California company hauling petroleum products. The settlement provides for payment of a lump sum to be distributed between all employees who worked as truckers for the company from March of 2004 to March of 2008 and were not paid overtime wages for any work over 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week. The settlement still has to receive the court’s Preliminary and Final approval before it becomes official. This settlement is especially encouraging as the defendants had raised certain defenses with regards to exemptions under Motor Carrier Safety Exemption (MCSE) and exemptions under Department of Transportation under HAZMAT. Any trucker who is working more than 8 hour a day or 40 hours a week without receiving overtime wages and whose job does not (or very rarely) takes him across state lines is encouraged to contact Employment Law Team at 877-529-4545. Those hauling rocks, cement or other items from quarries are encouraged to contact us.

Class Actions as a tool of addressing legal matters and class action lawyers as a whole have been the subject of much attack and criticism by the business industry and some in the media for the past decade or so. The criticism has also made its way into the halls of congress and in 2005, Congress passed the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005. Purpose of the Act was to reduce unwarranted and frivolous Class Actions and to streamline the dockets for cases. As someone who has defended against class actions and their constant threat while serving as the General Counsel and then the lead litigation attorney representing public companies I have seen my chare of bogus class actions which do nothing as far helping consumers and only fill the pockets of the class attorneys. However, as a whole I am a strong believer in the system which allows many powerless individuals to band together and challenge illegal and unlawful conduct of big and powerful interests. Without this tool many wrongs will go unaddressed due to the fact that litigating cases on a one by one basis would not make any sense for any attorney to agree to represent consumers individually.
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