Class certifications are an invaluable tool for plaintiffs with small claims to band together to gain leverage over defendants. A claim of a few hundred dollars or less is not worth the expense of filing a claim in court, but those few hundred dollars could mean the difference between paying rent and going into debt for a lot of workers.
Class actions also benefit the courts because they allow the courts to handle up to tens of thousands of similar claims in one blow, rather than having to handle each case individually.
A class of plaintiffs must fulfill certain requirements in order to qualify as a class action. These include claims that are similar enough to justify handling them all at once, competent representation, and a class representative whose claims are sufficiently similar to the rest of the class. It is the judge’s responsibility to make sure all these requirements are met before certifying the class. Continue reading