On the eleventh day of Workplace Fairness, WF brings to you:
ELEVEN CY PRES AWARDS
As a consumer, you have undoubtedly received one or more postcards informing you that you may be eligible to make a claim in a class action lawsuit. If you're like me, you set the postcard aside and intend to pull together whatever information you need to make a claim, but often have the deadline pass without sending in the requisite documentation. Because there are so many people like me, who do not successfully do what is needed to participate (or who cannot be found), there almost always is money left over at the conclusion of a class or collective action case after all members of the class are compensated. Did you know that over $500 million dollars in class action settlement monies are unclaimed each year, while over $12 billion dollars are presently unclaimed from securities suits?
Rather than having the money revert to the defendant (the alleged wrongdoer) or to the state, charities can be designated to receive leftover class action funds through the application of a centuries-old legal doctrine called "cy pres" (pronounced "sigh PRAY"), which means "the next best use" or "as nearly as possible." If the funds are not exhausted compensating eligible class members (which they rarely ever are) then using that money to fund charitable work is much more consistent with the purpose of the litigation than allowing the funds to revert to the defendant, giving class members a windfall, or incurring excessive administrative costs through multiple distributions. This approach also furthers the goals of our civil rights laws to prevent future discrimination.
Workplace Fairness uses cy pres awards to educate thousands of workers across the nation about their employment rights. Over the last several years, we have received eleven cy pres awards to support our work. Firms such as Dworken and Bernstein, Sanford Wittels & Heisler, Cohelan Khoury & Singer, and Caffarelli & Siegel have all contributed substantially to our work -- in some cases multiple times -- through their generous allocation of cy pres awards to Workplace Fairness. The cy pres awards we have received have been a lifesaver, and have gone directly towards supporting our award-winning website, which reaches over 700,000 each year. Our low overhead means your funds will be used efficiently and will directly support workers who need information.
I know that not everyone reading this is a class action lawyer, but everyone reading this certainly knows some class action lawyers. Cy pres funds are not limited to employment cases, and there is a vast amount of unclaimed funds in securities and other consumer cases as well, brought by firms who may not be familiar with Workplace Fairness and the quality of work that we do. So please help us identify firms who may be willing to support us through their cy pres distributions.
Or, if you already have cases with unclaimed funds, and need some assistance in developing the correct language for settlement agreements or motions to the court, Workplace Fairness can help you do that as well. If you call me at 240.429.0260, or email me at email@example.com, we will provide you with everything you need to ensure your cy pres funds help workers better understand and protect their rights.