As workers have increasingly turned to class actions in order to combat wage theft and other unlawful actions in the workplace, employers have fought back on a number of fronts. Two issues that have gotten a lot of attention lately are (1) the use of sampling and (2) the role of individualized damages.
How courts rule on the issue of sampling is important because it is often an effective way for workers to manage issues that arise in the class context. How courts rule on the issue of individualized damages is critical because sometimes employers have unlawful policies or practices, but not all employees are damaged by them. Under those circumstances, should the employees who have been damaged be able to bring a class action to vindicate their rights?
On November 21, 2016, workers in California won a significant victory with respect to both sampling and damages. In Lubin v. Wackenhut (Second App. Dist., case no. B344383), the court of appeal reversed an order decertifying the class in a case brought by private security officers. As a result, those workers will be able to proceed to trial and to bring their claims on a class-wide basis. Continue reading