Class action and Collective lawsuits are lawsuits in which large groups of similarly situated people combine their complaints into one case against a common defendant. The class of plaintiffs could be anything from a group of consumers who bought the same product, to employees working for the same company. Either way, the process of filing a class action allows plaintiffs with small complaints to seek justice in the court system by filing their complaints together, so their combined claims are large enough to warrant a lawsuit. They also give plaintiffs without much power greater leverage, especially against large corporate defendants.
Once a class action or collective action lawsuit is filed, there are two ways members can join the lawsuit. The first which applies to collective actions is the opt-in method, in which members actively opt into the lawsuit (usually by filling out and submitting a form). Other times, in a class action once it is certified, all eligible class members are automatically included in the class and don’t have to do anything to participate, although they can choose to opt out of the class (which is also done by turning in a legal form).
In a recent wage and hour collective action lawsuit against Xerox, a notice has been sent to all eligible participants, asking them to opt into the class. The lawsuit was filed by two plaintiffs in October 2012 and it involves the Achievement Based Compensation, or Activity Based Compensation, (ABC) the company used to pay its call center employees. According to the lawsuit, the ABC method allegedly failed to pay employees for all the time they spent working and paid them less than the legally-mandated minimum wage. The lawsuit alleges call center employees were regularly required to perform work off the clock, and that “they were systematically denied full compensation for all hours worked, including overtime hours.”
Xerox is denying the claims and insists it’s payment methods compensated employees for all time worked.
According to the notice, “all current and former employees of Xerox Business Services, LLC, Livebridge, Inc., Affiliated Computer Services, Inc., and Affiliated Computer Services, LLC who worked at a call center in the United States at any time since April 13, 2011, received inbound calls for third-party clients, were paid in whole or in part under the [Achievement Based Compensation] plan” are eligible to participate in the class action lawsuit. In order to proceed through the courts as a class action, the class needs to be certified by a court judge. The current wage and hour lawsuit against Xerox has not yet been certified, and if it is certified, the member status of those who choose to opt-in to the class will depend on the judge’s determination of the similarity of the claims of all class members.
There are pros and cons to participating in a collective action lawsuit. On the one hand, all class members must abide by the judge’s ruling. If the plaintiffs lose the case or if they’re granted a small settlement, everyone who participated in the class would be unable to file another claim against Xerox. On the other hand, if your claim is small, the collective action is your best bet for getting any compensation.
To encourage current employees of Xerox to opt into the class, the notice assures the employees that federal law prohibits Xerox from retaliating against employees who participate in the lawsuit.The attorneys at Chicago Overtime Law Center have decades of experience litigating wage and hour cases, including overtime, vacation pay, meal breaks, and tips against Mortgage Brokerage, Real-Estate Brokerages, financial services companies and private security firms. We have offices conveniently located in Oak Brook and Chicago, Illinois. Contact the Naperville and Aurora overtime lawyers and attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center today at 312-869-4095. We are looking to represent financial advisor associates, loan and mortgage brokers who have not been paid overtime and have been mis-classified as managers.