Reports have surfaced that call center and business processing outsourcing providers Concentrix and Teleperformance unlawfully withhold wages and overtime from employees at the companies’ brick-and-mortar facilities.
According to the allegations, the call center representatives are forced to work “off the clock,” time that the employers do not record and for which the representatives are not paid. The unlawful pay practices are an apparent attempt to circumvent the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state labor laws by making employees’ time cards appear as if they have worked fewer than 40 hours per week – the threshold for overtime compensation that must be paid at one-and-one-half times the call center agents’ base hourly rate.
Wage abuse in the call center industry is a sadly common occurrence, drawing the ire of the U.S. Department of Labor. The agency’s Wage & Hour Division published an alert to inform call center employees about various methods of wage theft that call centers and business processing outsourcing companies have perpetrated, including:
- Requiring call center agents and representatives to log into computer systems before starting their daily shifts;
- Requiring employees to log out of computer systems after their shifts end;
- Withholding compensation from employees for periods of time when technical issues disconnect them from company computer systems, time spent addressing technical issues with IT support, and time needed to restart and log back into computer systems after correcting technical issues;
- Requiring employees to work through mandatory meal breaks without compensation; and
- Requiring employees to respond to work-related emails, make work-related calls, and perform other work-related tasks before and after their daily shift.
The unpaid work hours frequently push employees’ work hours beyond 40 hours each week, entitling them to overtime, which Concentrix and Teleperformance either reported fail to pay or pay straight wages rather than time-and-a-half.
The attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’s Employment Litigation Group are currently interviewing call center agents and representatives who have been employed at Concentrix and Teleperformance brick-and-mortar locations across the U.S. If you have worked for either of these companies as a telephone agent in a customer support, customer service, technical support, or client relations position and have information regarding unpaid wages and overtime in your workplace, please contact us today!