BY: Jason J. Thompson | IN: Class Action & Commercial Litigation, Employment Law, Unpaid Wages & Overtime
A series of lawsuits and investigations may be uncovering an alarming trend of wage theft and abuse among certain call center companies – depriving employees of their hard-earned compensation.
In recent years, reports and complaints of unpaid overtime against Signia Marketing, Dialog Direct, Concentrix, Direct Interactions, Ameridial, and other industry players have alleged that home-based and on-site employees are forced to work “off the clock” and fail to have all of their hours recorded. These illicit practices are viewed as an attempt to bilk call center agents out of overtime pay by making it appear that their time cards don’t include more than 40 hours per week.
For example, in a recently filed class action against Signia Marketing, Ltd. and its owner, Jeffrey Fell, the plaintiffs claim that the company made its customer service representatives work beyond the forty-hour overtime threshold, yet only paid them their straight hourly rates, not time-and-a-half as required by federal and state labor laws.
Call center wage abuse has been such a significant issue that the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division issued a fact sheet to educate call center workers about the different ways their employers may withhold wages and overtime pay, including:
When combined, unpaid meal breaks, pre- and post-shift work, and other off-the-clock time can easily bring employee time to over 40 hours each week, which must be paid at time-and-half.
The attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’s Employment Litigation Group are investigating employee complaints of wage theft by call center employers. If you have worked as a telephone agent in a customer support, customer service, technical support, or client relations role and have information regarding unpaid wages and overtime in your workplace, please contact us today!
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Jason Thompson is a nationally board certified trial attorney and co-chairs Sommers Schwartz’s Complex Litigation Department. He has a formidable breadth of litigation experience, including class action and multidistrict litigation (MDL), and practices nationwide in both state and federal courts.