Requiring hourly workers to perform job-related tasks “off the clock” without pay is wage theft, and Ameridial is among the latest companies believed to cheat its call center agents and representatives out of their hard-earned wages and overtime compensation.
Reports of wage abuse in the call center industry are rampant, with several class actions in the past few years alone alleging Fair Labor Standards Act violations. Most of the lawsuits claim that call center employers unlawfully withhold pay for pre- and post-shift work and meal breaks, such as:
- Requiring employees to log into computer systems, applications, and networks before commencing their shifts;
- Requiring employees to sign out of those systems after their shifts end;
- Withholding employees’ pay for time spent addressing technical issues that disconnect them from company computer systems, interacting with tech support to correct the issues, and subsequently rebooting computer systems after the problems are resolved;
- Failing to provide meal breaks by requiring employees to perform job-related tasks during those times; and
- Requiring employees to send, receive, and respond to work-related email messages, make work-related telephone calls, and see to other work-related tasks before and after their daily shifts.
In many instances, this unrecorded time can be significant, pushing total work time beyond 40 hours per work for which employees are entitled to overtime pay at the rate of one-and-one-half times their hourly base rate.
Wage and overtime abuses in the call center industry have resulted in intense scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Labor and the issuance of a fact sheet by its Wage & Hour Division to inform call center workers about the different illicit methods by which companies rob them of compensation.
The attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’s Employment Litigation Group are presently investigating complaints of wage theft at Ameridial call center facilities. If you have worked customer support, customer service, technical support, or client relations agent or representative and have information about unpaid wages and overtime in your workplace, please contact us today!