Labor and Employment Class Action Lawsuits Jump 10%

An annual survey published by the nationwide litigation law firm of Carlton Fields found that the number of labor and employment class action lawsuits rose 10% in 2023 from the prior year. Furthermore, corporate counsel predicts labor and employment to be the next wave of class actions due to growing workforce activism, tension over hybrid work policies, layoffs, an increase in discrimination claims, and a sharp rise in unionization attempts.

Nearly 80% of companies surveyed in 2023 reported that they faced a labor and employment class action lawsuit in the last five years. In 2018, that same number was 64%, indicating a significant uptick in a short period of time. Companies also report that labor and employment class action defense accounted for the largest share of their budgets, and it was viewed by leadership as one of the riskiest class action matters. 

An independent consulting group, hired by Carlton Fields, selected the companies and conducted interviews with 322 general counsel, chief legal officers, and direct reports to general counsel at those companies. Surveyed companies, which span 25 industries, had an average annual revenue of $21.7 billion.