Reports have surfaced that Express Scripts and other call centers may be unlawfully withholding compensation from customer service agents and representatives in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
The problem is not new. In July 2008, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division issued Fact Sheet #64, in which it alerted call center employees of certain abuses prevalent in the industry. In particular, the publication specifically condemns call center employer’s practice of not paying workers for the necessary job-related activities performed before and after their shifts:
In general, “hours worked” includes all time an employee must be on duty, or on the employer’s premises or at any other prescribed place of work, from the beginning of the first principal activity of the workday to the end of the last principal activity of the workday.
According to the Fact Sheet, call center agents, specialists, and representatives working must be paid for “principal activities” such as:
- Starting the computer to download work instructions
- Booting up computer applications
- Shutting down a computer and other systems
- Reading work-related emails
Attorneys from the law firm of Sommers Schwartz, P.C. have received reports that Express Scripts unlawfully withheld compensation in violation of wage and hour provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and various state laws. As proscribed by the Department of Labor Fact Sheet, workers have complained that the company did not pay them for activities they were required to perform as part of their jobs, including starting and booting their computers, reviewing e-mails, and logging out of their computers. These complaints are similar to allegations made in other class action lawsuits brought by the firm on behalf of call center workers employed by Express Scripts, Convergys Corp., and TeleTech.
Sommers Schwartz attorneys are now interviewing Express Scripts customer service agents and representatives from across the country to determine if their rights were violated and if they may be owed unpaid wages. If you were employed by Express Scripts in the U.S. at any time in the past three years as a customer service agent or representative, please contact us today to discuss your right to compensation.