Today we are launching Seyfarth Shaw’s 8th Annual Workplace Class Action Litigation Report to the loyal readers of our blog.

The 2012 Report is our biggest ever. It contains analyses of 976 class action rulings on a circuit-by-circuit and state-by-state basis. The Report is divided into chapters on leading class action settlements (both from a monetary and injunctive relief standpoint), federal law rulings, and state law rulings. The substantive areas examined include Title VII, EEOC pattern or practice cases, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, state law rulings in employment law, wage & hour, and breach of contract cases, key CAFA rulings, and other class action rulings with significance to employers on Rule 23 and/or workplace litigation issues.

The Report is the sole compendium in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to workplace class action litigation. Called “the definitive source on employment class action litigation” (EPLiC Magazine, Spring 2011), it has become the “go to”  research and resource guide for businesses and corporate counsel facing complex litigation. The Report is fully searchable, and is a great tool for corporate law departments in dealing with complex litigation issues in all sorts of substantive legal areas.

The 2012 Report is 790 pages. To obtain your copy, a convenient order form is attached here.

The Introduction Chapter on significant workplace class action trends over the past year can be downloaded here.
2011 Was A Landmark Year In Workplace Class Actions

As events of the past year in the workplace class action world have demonstrated, the array of bet-the-company litigation issues that businesses face continued to evolve on a landscape that is undergoing significant change. In turn, governmental enforcement litigation and regulatory oversight of workplace issues heated up to new levels, thereby challenging businesses to integrate their litigation and risk mitigation strategies to navigate these exposures.

By almost any measure, 2011 was a transformative year for workplace class actions. The U.S. Supreme Court issued three class action rulings – in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, et al., AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, et al., and Smith, et al. v. Bayer – that impact all varieties of complex litigation in a profound manner. The Supreme Court’s decisions are also apt to have far-reaching implications for litigants for years to come.

More than any other development in 2011, Dukes had an immediate and substantial ripple effect on virtually all types of class actions pending in both federal and state courts throughout the county. It fostered a cascading waive of decisions in the second half of 2011, as litigants and courts grappled with the ruling’s implications in a wide variety of class action litigation contexts. As of the close of the year, Dukes had been cited a total of 260 times in subsequent case rulings, a remarkable figure for a decision rendered in June of 2011.

Against this backdrop, the plaintiffs’ class action employment bar filed and prosecuted significant class action and collective action lawsuits against employers in 2011. In turn, employers litigated an increasing number of novel defenses to these class action theories, fueled in part by the new standards enunciated in Dukes and Concepcion. As the Report reflects, federal and state courts addressed a myriad of new theories and defenses in ruling on class action and collective action litigation issues. The impact and meaning of “Dukes issues” and “Concepcion issues” were at the forefront of these case law developments.

More To Come

 We will announce our annual class action webinar date soon.  We hope you enjoy the Report!