Reports have surfaced that Yelp! Inc., the company that assists people in finding local businesses, may not be paying its call center sales agents all the compensation to which they are entitled.
According to the job description, Yelp!’s call center sales agents are non-exempt employees. Many of Yelp!’s call center agents are responsible for selling advertising space to other corporations and work long hours, sometimes in excess of forty in a single workweek. However, the pay policies and procedures of Yelp! relative to their call center agents may violate the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state labor laws. Allegations have been made that call center agents are pressured into under-reporting the number of hours worked or working while off-the-clock.
Regardless of whether they work at home or brick-and-mortar locations, call center workers have been targets of wage theft and abuse, a danger that the prompted the U.S. Department of Labor to issue a warning of illegal pay practices. Like other call center employers that require agents to use computer systems to perform their jobs but don’t properly compensate hourly workers, Yelp! is suspected of failing to pay call center agents for all the time they spend:
- Booting up computer systems, logging into applications, and downloading work instructions or attending team meetings before beginning their shifts;
- Waiting on hold with technical support when disconnected from computer systems and networks;
- Shutting down applications and computers after ending their shifts;
- Being pressured into not reporting all hours worked or working off-the-clock; and
- Reading work-related emails before and after their shifts.
These “off the clock” tasks account for a significant amount of time, sometimes several minutes each day, and can push work hours beyond 40 hours a week for which employees must be paid overtime at time-and-a-half.
The attorneys in Sommers Schwartz Employment Litigation Group are now interviewing individuals who worked as Yelp! call center agents regarding their suspicions of unpaid wages and overtimes. If you worked for Yelp! in this capacity or have information to share, please contact us today!