Strategic Considerations to Consider in Employee Rights Claims

We discuss many employment issues in our Youtube videos. A video which discusses the topics in this blog can be found – here.

Other defendants – for settlement or litigation

Supervisors and managers may breach rules in addition to the company. A possible advantage of filing a claim against an individual in California is the right to seek punitive damages against individuals. There are some public companies, for example, where California law doesn’t allow punitive damage claims against the public company.

A second advantage of filing a claim against an individual is that it helps to keep a claim in state court. Companies often argue that lawsuits against them should be transferred to the state where they have their company headquarters or to jurisdictions listed in an employee agreement.

Other possible defendants include temp agencies, payroll agencies, and personnel agencies. Often, they’re part of a conspiracy to prevent you from knowing everything you need to know before you accepted employment. They can be liable through joint and several liability laws, aiding and abetting laws, and for other reasons.

Creative fixes for procedural problems
Class actions are used when individual claims aren’t worth the expense of the filing an individual lawsuit because the individual damage awards are small. Class action lawsuits, for multiple employee victims – such as when many workers at a company aren’t being paid their proper wages – are a way to combine many small claims into one large claim. The possibility of a class action is an incentive for an employer to make large individual settlements to avoid the more problematic class action cases.

There are different categories of class actions. A California example is a PAGA – Private Attorney General Action.

An alternative to the threat of a class action is the threat of multiple arbitrations. About 65% of Fortune 500 companies have binding arbitration provisions in their employment contracts. Our lawyers work to find a reason that the case should go to a jury trial instead of an arbitration – such as by showing an ambiguity in the employment agreement. Studies show that companies can spend from $15,000 to $50,000 on an arbitration claim, for each employee claim, because, in California, the employer who demands arbitration must pay the expenses for the arbitration panel. Many arbitrators charge $5,000 to $10,000 per day. Multiple arbitrations, tried separately, can be quite expensive for the arbitrator.