By Gerald L. Maatman, Jr.

Happy Holiday season to our loyal readers of the Workplace Class Action Blog!

Our elves are busy at work this holiday season in wrapping up the galley proofs of our start-of-the-year kick-off publication – Seyfarth Shaw’s Annual Workplace Class Action Litigation Report.

We anticipate going to press in the first two weeks of January, and launching the 2014 Report to our readers from our Blog.

This will be our Tenth Annual Report, and the biggest yet with analysis of over 1,200 class certification rulings from federal and state courts in 2013. For the first time ever, the Report will be available for download as an E-Book too.

By almost any measure, 2013 was a year of significant change for workplace class action litigation.

More than any other development in 2013, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011), continued to have a wide-ranging impact on virtually all class actions pending in federal and state courts throughout the country. Many Rule 23 decisions in 2013 pivoted off of Wal-Mart, and leverage points in class action litigation increased or decreased depending on the manner in which judges interpreted and applied Wal-Mart.

The cases in 2013 foreshadow the direction of class action litigation in the coming year. One certain conclusion is that employment law class action and collective action litigation is becoming ever more sophisticated and will continue to be a source of significant financial exposure to employers well into the future. Employers also can expect that class action and collective action lawsuits increasingly will combine claims under multiple statutes, thereby requiring the defense bar to have a cross-disciplinary understanding of substantive employment law as well as the procedural peculiarities of opt-out classes under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the opt-out procedures in FLSA and ADEA collective actions.

The aspects of these changes will be featured in the 2014 edition of the Annual Workplace Class Action Litigation Report. The Report is the sole compendium in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to workplace class action litigation, and has become the “go to” research and resource guide for businesses and their corporate counsel facing complex litigation. We were particularly proud this year when Employment Practices Liability Consultant Magazine (“EPLiC”) recognized our Report as the “state-of-the-art word” on workplace class action litigation. In its article entitled  “Seyfarth Shaw’s Annual Workplace Class Action Litigation Report: The State-of-the Art Word on Employment-Related Class Actions,” EPLiC summed it up as follows – “The Report stands alone as the singular definitive source of information, research, and in depth analysis on employment class action litigation” and “no practitioner or corporate counsel who deals with employment claims should be without it on their desk.”

The 2014 Report will analyze rulings from all state and federal courts – including private plaintiff class actions and collective actions, and government enforcement actions –  in the substantive areas of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005. It also features chapters on EEOC pattern or practice rulings, state law class certification decisions, and non-workplace class action rulings that impact employers. The Report also analyzes the leading class action settlements for 2013 for employment discrimination, wage & hour, and ERISA class actions, as well as settlements of government enforcement actions, both with respect to monetary values and injunctive relief provisions.

Information on downloading your copy of the 2014 Report will be available on our blog in early January. Happy Holidays!