In a recently filed class action lawsuit, customer service representatives employed by iVox Solutions, LLC claim that the company unlawfully withheld overtime compensation in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
iVox operates “business solutions centers,” and employs workers as customer service representatives, paying them on an hourly basis. According to the complaint, the plaintiffs regularly put in more than 40 hours (sometimes up to 80 hours) per week, and a portion of their overtime hours includes time spent on essential pre-shift and post-shift tasks such as logging into and out of iVox’s computer systems. The plaintiffs claim they were not paid for this “off the clock” work, nor were they compensated for meal breaks – time and tasks for which the U.S. Department of Labor has declared that call center employees are to be compensated.
Claims like these have been the subject of U.S. Department of Labor scrutiny for several years. In July 2008, the agency’s Wage & Hour Division issued Fact Sheet #64, in which it alerted call center employees of these kinds of statutory violations, especially situations where call center employer fail to pay workers necessary job-related activities:
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. Also included is any additional time the employee is allowed (i.e., suffered or permitted) to work. An example of the first principal activity of the day for agents/specialists/representatives working in call centers includes starting the computer to download work instructions, computer applications, and work-related emails.
The Fact Sheet clearly defines the “principal activities” for which call center agents, specialists, and representatives must be paid:
- Starting the computer to download work instructions
- Booting up computer applications
- Shutting down a computer and other systems
- Reading work-related emails
Attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’s Employment Litigation Group are interviewing additional iVox employees from whom the company unlawfully withheld wages and overtime pay. If you are or were employed by iVox Solutions, LLC in the U.S. at any time in the past three years as a customer service representative, please contact us today for a free consultation.