Numbers of class action lawsuits are on rise

The class action lawsuit is a popular legal approach in several countries. A young lawyer can virtually make his career with the help of a single class action lawsuit.

In recent time, more and more young lawyers are opting to search for corporate conduct deleteriously affecting large groups of employees and quickly move to find one employee willing to start a class action on behalf of all.
Ironically, most of them have little or no knowledge about the little or no expertise in employment law.

As an example, we find a law firm that was approached to start a class action on behalf of 160 Ford employees whose job offers were revoked as result of the company’s economic woes few days back. Every action by employers, however legitimate, that affects a large group of their employees opens the door to class-action proceedings. So-called white-collar class actions have lead to hundreds of millions of dollars in awards, many of which are mostly from settlements.

The common thread in the U. S. class action cases, as it will be in Canada, has been that employees are misclassified as managerial (who are exempt from overtime) when they are not managers, or alleged to be professional (some professions are exempt from overtime). There must be clear policies about that.

Experts thinks that the courts must dramatically limit the scope or conditions precedent for class actions, the country will see a dramatic increase in them. In the past decade, many U. S. corporations have chosen to pay large settlements rather than face the prospect of ruinous jury awards.

Also there is a problem regarding the over time payment. To avoid paying overtime, employers cannot permit employees to work overtime.

Source: Financial Post

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