So, you’ve heard all of the buzz about class action lawsuits and want to know if it affects you. You find one that you think might pertain to you and wonder “How do I know if I’m part of a class action lawsuit?” The good news is that it’s pretty easy to find out if a class action lawsuit pertains to you. If it does and you haven’t received notice that you’re included, it’s also easy to opt-in as a member of the class.
Class action lawsuits are a way for many people to file a complaint in court against a single entity. In most wage and hour cases, the “class” typically consists of a group of workers against the defendant, or the company, who employs or employed them. These lawsuits are an important way for workers to gain back wages the employer hasn’t issued or earn pay for overtime/off-the-clock hours.
If you’ve been identified as a possible class member in a class action lawsuit, you’ll first receive notice in the mail or by email of your participation in the case. However, the notices are sent based on the employers’ most recent contact information. If you have moved, or your contact information is changed, you should contact the administrator or attorneys to ensure you receive notice. Some class action lawsuits are “opt-out,” meaning if you’ve been notified you are automatically part of the case until you decide to opt out. Others are “opt-in,” meaning instead you have to elect to be a member of the class. Either way, the notice sent to you will provide instructions on your status and next steps.
After receiving a class action notice, you know you’re part of a class action lawsuit and now may need to opt-in to be part of the case. If you don’t you could lose out on possible settlement payouts. Pay attention to the instructions listed on the notice so you know exactly what you need to do to be part of a class action lawsuit. It’s important to remember that you do not need to pay a fee to be part of these suits, so sometimes joining could only benefit you.
If you haven’t been notified of your participation but are still wondering how to take part in a class action lawsuit, you first need to figure out which law firm is handling the case. A simple online search of the class action lawsuit title should give you the information you need. Then, you can contact the lawyers to prove you have legal standing as a member of the class. In the case of wage and hour lawsuits, this means proving you were employed at the time of the offense and that the company inflicted similar harm on you as they did others bringing about the lawsuit. Other cases may require different information the lawyer will provide to you during your initial meeting or call.
At any given time there are hundreds of class action lawsuits going on, so there’s a good chance you may be part of one. If you’re wondering “how do I know if I’m part of a class action lawsuit,” it’s always a good idea to check active class actions frequently. You may even be a member of a lawsuit you don’t know about. You can do this through online resources like Paycheck Warriors, Classaction.org. Once you’re aware of open cases, you can determine if they apply to you and then follow the steps to take part in the class action lawsuit.
Like any other legal matter, it’s always smart to contact a lawyer before becoming part of a class action lawsuit. They can help you determine the best course of action and provide updates as the case moves through court.
© WTMM 2020
Columbus Web Design - Split Reef