The U.S. call center and telemarketing industry is big business – according to recent statistics, 24,000 companies will generate $22 billion this year. But because employee compensation account for nearly 60% of operating expenses, some call center employers have resorted to wage theft – withholding overtime, failing to pay for “off-the-clock” work, improper recordkeeping, and other violations of federal and state labor laws.
Class action lawsuits have been brought against major call center players Convergys, Express Scripts, Sutherland Global, Sykes Enterprises, and TeleTech, and it is possible that wage theft may be occurring at other major call center companies, including:
- ACD Direct, Inc.
- Affiliated Computer Services, Inc.
- Ansafone Contact Centers
- Call Center International (CCI)
- Connection (formerly PC Connection)
- Dialog Direct
- Direct Interactions
- Great VirtualWorks
- iVox Solutions, LLC
- LiveOps, Inc.
- Micah Tek, Inc.
- Novo 1
- Talk2Rep Inc.
- VIPdesk Connect, Inc.
- Working Solutions
This is a particularly serious threat to hourly call center employees working as customer service representatives, service center associates, sales agents, remote agents, and other positions. The call center segment is expected to grow 5% annually over the next 10 to 15 years, an increase that will be shouldered by more 455,000 people working in the industry.
Call center wage and overtime abuses have been common for years. In July 2008, the U.S. Department of Labor identified specific ways employers withhold compensation from hourly workers for necessary job-related tasks, such as:
- Failing to pay for time spent starting work computers and downloading work instructions
- Failing to pay for time spent booting up computer applications
- Failing to pay for time spent shutting down computers and other systems
- Failing to pay for time spent reading work-related emails
These “principal activities,” often performed before and after workers’ shifts, are critical to a call center’s business and workers must be fairly compensated.
Employment attorneys from the law firm of Sommers Schwartz, P.C. are investigating allegations from remote and on-site customer service agents from call centers across the country to determine whether their rights were violated and if they are owed unpaid wages. If you were employed as an hourly call center worker in the U.S. at any time in the past three years, please contact us today at (844) 604-1107 to discuss your right to compensation.