Americans may be served with notice of a class action lawsuit via postal mail or via email. Rarely, individuals may be served with notice by other means. Unfortunately, some individuals affected by a given class action lawsuit may not even be given direct access to such notices. Receiving notice of class action lawsuits that may affect you is vitally important, as you cannot exercise your rights associated with such notices unless you are informed about relevant suits that have been filed.

Oftentimes, when a pattern of discrimination, improper wage and hour practices and other illegal workplace issues are uncovered and investigated, class action lawsuits are filed on behalf of individuals affected by those issues. When a class action lawsuit is filed, any individuals affected by the lawsuit are generally given notice of this filing. These particular lawsuits allow similarly affected individuals to file a claim as a group, as opposed to filing multiple similar lawsuits.

Once you have received notice that a lawsuit has been filed, you should read the notice and determine if you have correctly been identified as someone who could be considered part of the “class” in question. If you have any questions about whether or not you are directly affected by this lawsuit, do not hesitate to speak to an attorney experienced in matters of employment law.

If you can be considered part of the class, you will generally need to decide whether you wish to be part of the lawsuit or decline to be part of it. If you decline, you may be able to sue your employer on your own. However, if you decline to be part of the class action suit, you will not benefit if the class is awarded compensation or other damages as a result of the suit.

Source: Findlaw Injured, “Received a Class Action Lawsuit Notice? What Do You Do Next?” Christopher Coble, March 3, 2015