The concept of standing relates to the right of a party to make a legal claim or seek judicial enforcement of a duty or right.
Black's Law Dictionary says that, to have standing in a federal court, a plaintiff must show:
- that the plaintiff has been injured by the actions of the party being sued. The injury must be directly traced to the conduct being challenged, and the injury must be immediate and threatening, not just possible or hypothetical.
- that the plaintiff has a sufficient connection to the case to make the plaintiff a party in a legal action, being sufficiently affected by the matter to have a significant stake in the outcome.
Your business cannot sue another business for what you feel is a violation of the law unless you can show that your business is harmed by the actions of the other business and that you have a specific connection to the case.
In a specific example, Company A sued Company B. Company A said Company B had a competitive advantage because Company B's workers were designated as independent contractors rather than employees (so Company B could pay its workers less). A District Court in Utah in 2010 said that the right to regulate Company B's labor practices and any violations of employment laws was the jurisdiction of the IRS and not of Company A. The lawsuit was thrown out.