The plaintiffs are current or former Huntington employees at the company’s brick-and-mortar call centers in Holland, Michigan and Columbus, Ohio. They are responsible for making and receiving inbound and outbound calls, monitoring and managing customer calls, filing disputes, promoting bank services and products, and providing general customer service.
According to the complaint, the plaintiffs regularly put in 40 hours each week, but Huntington refused to pay them overtime for “off the clock” work in excess of 40 hours. Examples of the company’s alleged wage theft include:
- Requiring Customer Service Associates to boot up their computers and eight or more software programs, including IEX E-Time timekeeping software, before beginning their daily shifts
- Allowing Customer Service Associates to take live customer calls while computer programs loaded before the IEX software recorded their start time of their shifts
- Forcing Customer Service Associates to log in and out of computer programs and the IEX software before and after unpaid meal breaks
- Requiring Customer Service Associates to log out of the IEX software and shut down their computers after ending their daily shifts
The total time for these pre-shift and post-shift activities ranged from 10 to 30 minutes each day, all of which constituted overtime work that warranted payment of 150% of the plaintiffs’ base hourly rate.
Wage abuse within the call center industry is a frequent problem that has garnered heightened scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division. In 2008, the agency issued a Fact Sheet condemning unlawful pay practices including employers’ failure to compensate workers for necessary job-related activities. “Hours worked” generally includes all time employees must be on duty, from the start of the first “principal activity” to the end of the last principal activity of the workday, and including any additional time the employee is allowed to work. In the call center environment, principal activities for telephone agents and representatives includes starting booting up computers, downloading work instructions, and initiating systems and software.
The attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’s Employment Litigation Group are presently interviewing additional Phone Bank Customer Service Associates who have worked on site at Huntington call centers to determine if they are entitled to recover unpaid overtime pay as part of the class action. If you were employed in this position by the company at any time in the past three years in this position, please contact us today to discuss your right to compensation.