Pros and Cons of Class Action Suit

A Class Action in employment law context is a civil action brought by one or more representative plaintiff on behalf of a larger group of victims (“class members”) for matters involving common defendant(s). Litigation is complex and class actions have advantages as well as disadvantages. In cases where it would not be economical or practical for an individual to bring a claim and multiple claimants are similarly affected, it may be viable to proceed as a class action.

If you have been wronged, sometimes it’s difficult to decide what your best course of action is. Below are some key points for you to think about when you are deciding a Class Action is right for you.

Employment Law Class Action - Is it for Me?

There are many reasons why you might want to consider filing your employment law case as a Class Action instead of an individual suite. There might have many victims involving the same transaction (e.g. massive layoff of the work force without just compensation and proper severance pay). The cost minimization and judicial efficiency of an Employment Law Class Action makes it possible for victims to seek justice in cases where the legal cost far exceeds the monetary award each individual victim is entitled to and as such an individual suite by each victim wouldn't be financially feasible otherwise. In some occasions, more victims are discovered along the way as the employment law legal proceeding progress that calls for a Class Action.

Pros and Cons of Class Action Lawsuits in General

Pros

  • Greatly improve judicial efficiency as it help reduce the number of suits required for the Court to resolve

  • More Cost Effective: Reduce the cost of litigation as all class members are using the same lawyer due to economy of scale.

  • Motivate defendants to settle since there are many plaintiffs

Cons

  • Cases take a longer time to settle because of the complex procedures involved

  • Plaintiffs give up their right to sue the defendant independently

  • Class members do not have direct control over the legal proceeding

Pros

  • By grouping many class members together, it pressures the Defendant(s) in terms of dollar value of the claim; and the publicity associated with a class action.

  • If the case is large in scale, you will also increase the chance of attracting litigation funding, assuming the chance of success is high, which is not uncommon in an employment law class action. Or at the very least, by making the case larger in scale, it’s more likely that a lawyer will take on the case on a contingency fee, no-win-no-fee basis.

Cons

  • Representative Plaintiff has an obligation and a duty to fairly and adequately represent the interests of the class. So it’s not unlikely that, as a representative plaintiff, you might end up getting a smaller amount than you would have, if you filed a personal suit.

  • A lot of groundworks is required: Defining Class, Obtaining an Order for Certification from the Court, Devise a plan for pursuing the action and for notifying other class members, just to name a few.

Pros

  • Minimal time and cost involved.

  • Class actions extend the statutes of limitations (a 2-year-limitation-period) in some cases, as long as the representative plaintiff(s) are not caught by the Limitations Act, 2002.

Cons

  • You will not have much control over the court proceedings.

  • You are barred from making your own claim in relation to the same issue in the future.

Class Action FAQs

Class Action FAQs:

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