San Francisco Class Action Lawsuit Attorney
Class Action Lawsuit Lawyers
Class actions—where one person or a small group represents a larger group of individuals—and mass actions—where a group of individuals litigate together—are essential tools for employees to vindicate their rights in the workplace. The employment lawyers at Rukin Hyland & Riggin LLP are experienced class action and mass action litigators. We have represented employees in a wide variety of class action and mass action cases, including claims for unpaid overtime, unpaid minimum wage, missed meal and rest breaks, unlawful independent contractor misclassification, expense reimbursement, and other unlawful business practices.
What is Required for a Class Action Case?
In short, it depends on where the class action case has been filed, as the federal and state class action requirements can be somewhat different:
Under federal law, a class action must meet the requirements of Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Rule 23(a) requirements are (1) numerosity; (2) commonality; (3) typicality; and (4) predominance. Rule 23(b)(3) examines whether there are questions of law or fact common to class members that predominate over questions affecting only individual members, and whether a class action is superior to other methods for fairly and efficiently adjudicating the controversy.
- Numerosity: Numerosity requires that a class be “so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a)(1). Forty class members will be sufficient, though it’s possible that fewer class members would also suffice.
- Commonality: Rule 23(a)(2) requires plaintiffs to show one or more questions of law or fact common to the class. Plaintiffs can satisfy this requirement by demonstrating the existence of a “common contention” that is capable of classwide resolution in “one stroke.” Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S.Ct. 2541, 2551 (2011).
- Typicality: “The test of typicality is whether other members have the same or similar injury, whether the action is based on conduct which is not unique to the named plaintiffs, and whether other class members have been injured by the same course of conduct.” Hanon v. Dataproducts Corp., 976 F.2d 497, 508 (9th Cir. 1992)
- Adequacy: Adequacy has two elements: (1) that the proposed representatives do not have conflicts of interest with the proposed class, and (2) Plaintiffs are represented by qualified and competent counsel. Hanlon v. Chrysler Corp., 150 F.3d 1011, 1020 (9th Cir. 1998); Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a)(4).
Under California state law, Code of Civil Procedure § 382 says that “when the question is one of a common or general interest, of many persons, or when the parties are numerous, and it is impracticable to bring them all before the court, one or more may sue or defend for the benefit of all.” California courts have interpreted this statute to mean that the plaintiff must establish the existence of “an ascertainable class” and a “well-defined community of interest among class members.” Sav-On Drug Stores v. Superior Court, 34 Cal. 4th 319, 326 (2004). The “community of interest” criteria is comprised of three factors, mirroring some Rule 23 requirements: (1) predominant common questions of law or fact; (2) class representatives with claims or defenses typical of the class; and (3) class representatives who can adequately represent the class. A court must also decide that “litigation of individual issues, including those arising from affirmative defenses, can be managed fairly and efficiently.”
Examples of Class Action Cases
Our class action docket has included cases against the following companies:
- KBR, on behalf of a class of truck drivers who drove convoys in Iraq and were not paid for all the hours they worked;
- Google Inc., on behalf of a class of sourcers (recruiters) seeking overtime pay for off-the-clock work;
- Supershuttle Inc., seeking unpaid overtime wages and expense reimbursements on behalf of a proposed class of drivers classified as independent contractors rather than employees;
- Bank of the West, on behalf of a class of information technology (IT) professionals seeking unpaid overtime as a result of their misclassification as exempt employees;
- Petco, on behalf of a class of store managers seeking unpaid overtime;
- Longs Drug Stores Inc., on behalf of store managers and assistant store managers seeking unpaid overtime;
- American Commercial Claims Administrators, on behalf of insurance claims adjusters seeking unpaid overtime;
- T-Mobile USA, on behalf Account Representatives, Territory Representatives, and Retail Store Managers seeking unpaid overtime and expense reimbursement;
- Sierra Pacific Industries, on behalf of truck drivers seeking meal period premium wages;
- Bay Area, A Mortuary Support Services Group, Inc., on behalf of drivers seeking unpaid overtime for work performed while on-call;
- ABC Security Service, Inc., on behalf of security guards seeking unpaid overtime and meal and rest period premium wages;
- Kimpton Group, on behalf of servers seeking unpaid overtime, meal and rest period premium wages, split shift premium wages, and reporting time pay;
- Tata Consultancy Services, on behalf of employees seeking unpaid wages, and repayment of tax refunds which were paid over to the employer.
Explore more of the kinds of cases our lawyers are handling now.