I spent some time yesterday catching up with Gerald Maatman Jr., the co-chair of the class action litigation practice group of Seyfarth Shaw. More importantly for the purposes of our conversation, he’s also the general editor of the firm’s annual class action report, a comprehensive rundown of the big filings, decisions and settlements in the employment space last year.

The report, now in its 17th year, clocks in at 850-pages and can be requested at the website here. But one of the report’s key takeaways is that despite the cash-hungry economy, companies were still shelling out big dollars to settle employment class actions. The top 10 settlements in employment-related categories the firm tracks totaled $1.58 billion in 2020, compared to $1.34 billion in 2019, and $1.32 billion in 2018. I caught up with Jerry by phone at his home in suburban Chicago to discuss this year’s findings. The following has been edited for length and clarity.

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