Every employer has the potential to be sued by one or more employees; in a sense, it is often the price of doing business. When a company experiences multiple class action suits on a regular basis, however, is it a sign of a bigger problem?
Suits Against Walmart
A number of lawsuits have plagued Walmart over the years, spanning a variety of employee complaints. A handful of these suits include:
- California employees claim that cashiers were denied appropriate seating upon request, and a judge has allowed for a class of 10,000 to pursue the matter in court
- Violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) are alleged by employees, who claim the company illegally performed background checks on them without securing proper authorization. The suit claims that employees were not notified of the checks or of their right to examine the information unearthed, some of which was erroneous and/or ambiguous
- Abuses related to gender discrimination, specifically with regard to compensation and promotions, were charged in a suit centering on violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Walmart forked over $35 million to workers who were not allowed to take rest and meal breaks or who did work for the company without being clocked in
- Pregnant workers filed a class action suit after Walmart allegedly failed to provide reasonable accommodations to them
- A $151 million settlement dating back to 2002 paid Walmart workers for their unpaid hours on the job
So what is the scoop here? Are Walmart employees unusually sue-happy? Are relationships between management and employees particularly contentious? Are communication channels clogged? Or does Walmart have a problem with the way it treats employees? Surely, there are two sides to every story, and to every lawsuit, as well. Here is what we do know:
- Walmart is being taken to court with greater frequency than any other retail chain in this country
- Walmart’s annual revenue exceeds that of any other in the United States
- In at least some instances, Walmart chooses to fight the case on technical issues such as the appropriateness of a class action suit (as opposed to individual lawsuits), rather than defending the purported practices of the company
- Walmart routinely files its own lawsuits against those who protest its policies and working conditions
- Walmart could settle some suits much more cheaply than the legal battle costs but sticks to its guns in a fight
Why File a Class Action Suit?
You, too, may be dissatisfied with a treatment at work and be considering your own class action suit. The advantage of this strategy include:
- Individuals are not solely responsible for legal fees
- A group of individuals with common grievances works together
If you believe your employer is lacking in ethics, is taking advantage of workers, or is simply mistreating employees in a systematic fashion, a class action suit may be the best way to address the problem. Contact the experienced legal team at HKM in Los Angeles for a consultation today.