Class Action Year in Review
Labor & Employment
Labor and Employment class actions involving contractors are on the rise in California, especially in its $50-plus billion per annum agricultural industry — 12.5% of all agricultural production nationwide. Employers using seasonal workers are always at risk of wage/hour class action lawsuits, including those hired through a third-party agency or labor contractor.
Privacy, Cybersecurity & Data Protection
Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) class action lawsuits were heavily litigated again in 2022, as plaintiffs continued to target companies using biometric technology and their vendors. At the same time, avoiding liability continued to be a challenge for businesses defending BIPA cases.
The Court addresses arbitration of class and collective actions in Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana and Coinbase, Inv. V. Bielski.”
Last year saw courts, particularly federal courts, continue their close scrutiny of class action settlements to ensure that they are fair and reasonable to class members, and do not unfairly prioritize the interests of class counsel, class representatives, or defendants.
Employee misclassification claims continue to be the focus of class action litigation in the logistics space. In general, these cases involve allegations by independent contractors (most often owner-operators) that they should be classified as employees, and thereby receive benefits granted to employees under certain statutes, such as meal and rest break laws or overtime pay.
The second half of 2022 saw a wave of class action litigation under state wiretapping laws against website operators that use widely deployed online technologies, such as chatboxes and session replay software.
Aphrodite Kokolis, Adam Littman, Nicholas Nesgos, Eva Pulliam, Jay Williams, Helenka Mietka, Nadav Pearl, and Noah Woo also contributed to this article.