On September 15, 2021, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided…
MASS PRODUCED WAGE CLAIMS
Lawsuit Prevention for Employers
In the last two weeks, four of this office’s employer-clients have received demand letters from a law firm, with offices in Burbank, California, demanding voluminous payroll-related documents. This firm, Lawyers for Employee and Consumer Rights, claims to represent current or former employees of the targeted employer, and that the document demands are made on its “client’s” behalf.
Employers are cautioned against providing any documents without seeking the advice of experienced labor law counsel before doing so. This is because such document demands are often the first step toward a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of multiple employees alleging wage-hour law violations against the employer.
To illustrate: the failure of employers to include all information required by law on itemized wage statements presently forms the most-common basis for class-action lawsuits in California.
Employers often have valid reasons for refusing to provide the documents demanded by this law firm, and these should be carefully explored before any information is released.
However, Labor Code section 226 requires that employers must respond to such demands as soon as possible, and no later than 21 days after the demand is made.
If you receive such a demand letter, contact your labor law expert without delay. This is essential in order to develop a legal strategy to optimize your firm’s ability to defend a potential lawsuit.
Jay G. Putnam is a Petaluma labor lawyer who has specialized in representing California employers for over three decades. His practice is devoted to preventing lawsuits against his clients, without sacrificing workplace authority or management prerogatives.
While no one can guarantee a future free of lawsuits, Putnam has compiled a remarkable record of success: Not one employer-client has been sued in 36 years with his system of precautions in place.
For those clients who have arrived with pending lawsuits, Putnam has established an excellent track record of success as well.
You are invited to visit Mr. Putnam’s website, where you will find in-depth discussion of the most common mistakes made by California employers, and how to avoid them. http://www.jaygputnam.com/newsletter/