Unfortunately, wage and hour violations remain a serious problem in Ohio and throughout the United States. According to data from the United States Department of Labor (DOL), the federal government recovered more than $300 million in wage losses for workers in 2018 alone. Though, as wage and hour violations are notoriously underreported — the true extent of wage and hour violations is undoubtedly far higher.
In many cases, employers that commit wage and hour violations do so in a systematic manner — in other words, many employees may have been affected by similar issues. If you and your co-workers were subject to similar wage and hour violations, you may be eligible to bring a class action lawsuit. Here, our Columbus wage and hour class action attorneys highlight the most important things that employees need to know about bringing a class action lawsuit in Ohio.
Ohio Law: The Requirements for an Employee Class Action
In order to bring a class action claim, certain legal standards must be met. Most importantly, employees must prove that their case qualifies for a class action. Otherwise, they will be required to pursue individual claims. Plaintiffs seeking to file a class action wage and hour claim in Ohio must be able to establish the following three things:
- There is a readily ascertainable and sufficiently numerous class of plaintiff employees;
- The employees in question have a “well-defined community interest”; and
- There are advantages to filing the case as a class action instead of as individual wage and hour claims.
Notably, one of the most important—and potentially challenging—aspects of obtaining class certification for a wage and hour claim is proving that there is a “well-defined community interest”. Essentially, plaintiffs seeking to bring a wage and hour class action must be able to establish that there is a significant number of employees who have a fundamentally similar underlying case.
Using Examples to Understand Class Action Wage and Hour Claims
A Wage and Hour Class Action May Be Appropriate If:
- Your employer misclassified an entire group of employees, denying you and similarly situated co-workers overtime pay;
- A specific manager repeatedly encouraged or required employees to do “off-the-clock” work; or
- Employees at construction worksites were consistently denied their right to take a meal break.
A Wage and Hour Class Action May Not Be Appropriate If:
- After leaving your position, you never received your last paycheck; or
- A manager occasionally requested you to put in some “off-the-clock” hours, but you have no knowledge that they have done the same to anyone else.
Get Help from Our Columbus, OH Wage and Hour Class Action Attorneys Today
At Coffman Legal, our top-rated Ohio wage and hour attorneys have the skills and experience needed to handle class action lawsuits. To learn more about what we can do for you and your co-workers, contact our law firm for a free consultation. From our office in Columbus, we serve communities throughout the greater Columbus, OH area, including Hilliard, Grove City, Dublin, Lincoln Village, Upper Arlington, and Worthington.