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October 2018

1. There’s strength in numbers. Consumer class-action suits allow a person or small group of people to sue a company on behalf of a larger group with similar claims. The cases, which often allege fraud or product defects, usually end in settlement instead of going to trial. For example, AT&T paid a $45 million settlement in response to consumer complaints that they had received unsolicited automated cell-phone calls. Automakers Hyundai and Kia have agreed to pay $395 million following allegations that they inflated fuel-economy data. Cases involving consumer privacy, such as the 2013 Target data breach, have become even more common. 2. But

SEATTLE — Amazon said on Tuesday that it would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for its United States employees, a rare acknowledgment that it was feeling squeezed by political pressure and a tight labor market. The raises apply for part-time workers and those hired through temporary agencies. The company said it would also lobby Washington to raise the federal minimum wage, which has been set at $7.25 for almost a decade. The new wages will apply to more than 250,000 Amazon employees, including those at the grocery chain Whole Foods, as well as the more than 100,000 seasonal employees