Class action lawsuits - in situations of employee disputes with their employers - allow employees with a relatively small amount of unpaid wages to band together in a lawsuit against their employer. The purpose of a class action is to hold an employer responsible for an illegal policy or practice that uniformly violates the Massachusetts wage laws. By banding together, the employees and ex-employees increase their leverage and are able to be represented by class counsel in a class action in Massachusetts state court or federal court.
The case is filed as a "class action" and then can become "certified" as a class action by the trial judge. The class action case either settles or goes to trial. Any class action settlement is approved by the trial judge who also determines to the amount of attorney's fees and costs to pay class counsel from the settlement fund.