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Workplace Litigation Trends and Expert Witnesses

Trends in workplace litigation have been going through increases and decreases based on the year and certain relevant factors. Since changes were implemented in 2016 and 2017, the litigation involving employment has been altered drastically by the United States Supreme Court.

There have been judgments and settlements for wages and hourly problems which have been on the rise. However, it is important to understand the trends in the last few years and how they affect those working in an industry that is known for causing monetary problems for employees. With these cases, an expert witness is often needed to clarify the situation for the court.

Class actions have been increasing where multiple employees have attached to the same cases due to employee issues with wages and hourly payment that is not being provided correctly. With state-by-state variations to these laws, it is often difficult to understand what applies to each case and person. To fully grasp how to navigate these complicated cases, an expert witness versed in workplace litigation should be hired to assist in explaining and assisting to resolve these matters. He
or she may also have information on the trends and how they affect the common workplace employee.

Class Actions

The significant increase in class action litigation is shaping and influencing both rulings and what is awarded by the United States Supreme Court. More cases have been reviewed with even more rulings being issued with a greater impact on both prosecution and defense parties. Due to these greater issues and higher amount of cases, it has become easier to prosecute and resolve these matters than ever before in the past. With the notable victories in these claims, it has become simpler to get through many of the more complex and difficult processes.

Expert witnesses have become a vital source of information and assistance through these situations to shed light on certain aspects, clarify evidence and provide a professional opinion on what occurred with standard methods or reliable procedures to give a relevant conclusion to the judge or jury. Experts in workplace lawsuits are often the professionals that have the ability to sway the jury panel to one side of the case. This means that the need to hire an expert witness increases with the more plaintiffs attached to a claim for workplace complications. This trend has been steady for a few years, and it may increase after significant numbers were reported in 2016. However, these experts have been used on both sides of the case, and their assistance is often enough for a successful outcome.

Monetary Issue Changes

A trend in class action settlements was increasing to the highest ever in 2014 and 2015, but it declined greatly in 2016. This was for employment-related settlements. Then, wage and hour settlements increased more during the decline of the other trend. Expert witnesses in these cases are usually utilized in assisting to assess the amount of damages owed to the plaintiff due to economic and financial problems. Employers have been violating wage and hour compliance to the laws in years near and after 2015, which has caused a significant increase in these cases. The role of the expert witness has been glossed over, but these professionals are crucial to proving key factors of claims for the plaintiff.

Government Lawsuits with Employees

Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions problems with plaintiffs have been trending in workplace litigation. Child labor and minimum wage laws have been violated in these situations. The Department of Labor and the EEOC have been involved in these matters due to the great number of cases and to aggressively attack the business management or owner that infringes upon these laws. Expert witnesses were used in many of these cases to assist in investigating, trying the cases and with aspects of the matters that affected employees. Unfortunately, the opposing party had the same type of experts and aggressive lawyers to defend against these concerns. This assists the government employee or entity in dodging liability.

Trends and the Expert Witness

Many trends have emerged in the workplace since 2014 and keep increasing in different geographic locations and fields of work. Regardless of what occurs or which company is involved, expert witnesses are key in playing a role that determines how much compensation should be provided, the outcome of the litigation with employment complications and helping the judge or jury understand what is involved in these matters. It is possible that without an expert witness, the plaintiff may lose the case with greater frequency than when he or she has one to assist in the claim.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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