As we face a new year, Seyfarth is pleased to offer strategic guidance through our 15th Annual Workplace Class Action Litigation Report Webinar. For an interactive analysis of 2018 decisions and emerging trends in 2019, please join us for our annual webinar. The developing trends in workplace class action litigation are continuing to evolve, morph, and adjust to the modern realities of the American workplace. These trends require corporate counsel to plan and re-order their compliance strategies to stay ahead of and mitigate these risks and exposures in the coming year.
The Report’s author, Gerald L. Maatman, Jr., along with Lorie Almon, co-chair of our wage & hour group, Ian Morrison, co-chair of our ERISA class action group, and Brett Bartlett, co-chair of the wage & hour group, will cover this changed national landscape in workplace class action litigation. In our workplace class action webinar, highlights from the Report will outline a number of key trends for employers, including:
SCOTUS Takes Center Stage: As predicted in Seyfarth’s 2018 Report, the U.S. Supreme Court continued to play an unusually active role in reshaping employment law and class action dynamics during the past year with several key opinions. The Epic Systems ruling, which upheld the legality of class action waivers in mandatory arbitration agreements, has proven transformative for employers and marks it as one of the most important SCOTUS decision for employers in nearly two decades. Following the appointments of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, the class action playing field for employers may shift even further in 2019.
Plaintiffs’ Win Percentage For Certification Success Reaches Record Level: The plaintiffs’ bar posted a record high certification success rate in 2018, our Report’s 15th year, winning 79% of their motions to certify class and collective actions in the largest category of workplace litigation: wage & hour litigation. Employer efforts to successfully decertify these cases also dropped by 11% as employers won only 52% of “second stage” decertification rulings, down from 63% in 2017.
Government Enforcement Litigation Hits Three-Year High But Settlement Payouts Drop Sharply: Despite the transition to a more business friendly Trump Administration, government enforcement litigation rose again to a new three-year high in 2018. The EEOC filed 199 lawsuits last year, up from 184 in 2017 but the value of the top government settlements cratered, dropping from $485.25 million in 2017 to $126.7 million in 2018.
Class Action Settlement Values Collapse: After reaching an all-time record high of $2.72 billion in 2017, the monetary value of the top workplace class action settlements decreased by more than 50% in 2018. Settlements sank to a five-year low of $1.32 billion in 2018, experiencing a record one-year drop of $1.4 billion. Even with a better success rate in 2018, settlements shrank across the board as plaintiffs failed to monetize class action victories at the same rate as 2017.
Impact Of The #MeToo Movement: This past year provided the first annual look at how the #MeToo movement is gaining momentum in workplace litigation. In particular, 74% of the U.S. EEOC’s Title VII filings this past year targeted sex-based discrimination, up from 65% in 2017. Also rising were the EEOC’s 2018 sex discrimination lawsuits including claims of sexual harassment, which grew to 41 lawsuits, up from 33 in 2017.
Workplace Class Action Litigation Report
*CLE Credit for this webinar has been awarded in the following states: CA, IL, NJ and NY. CLE Credit is pending for GA, TX and VA. Please note that in order to receive full credit for attending this webinar, the registrant must be present for the entire session.
If you have any questions, please contact Cassie Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org and reference this event.