A new lawsuit alleges that Patient Account Representatives (PARs) working are being cheated out of compensation by their employer, Northshore University Healthsystem.
According to the class action complaint, the plaintiffs – hourly workers at a Support Call Center in Skokie, Illinois – were denied wages and overtime in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state labor laws. They claim that Northshore maintains a common practice and policy to exclude time spent on daily pre-shift activities from the PARs work hours, “off-the-clock” time that frequently exceeds 40 hours per week, for which they are entitled to overtime pay at 150% of their regular pay rate.
Wage theft and abuse in call centers is a frequent problem, significant enough for the U.S. Department of Labor to issue an alert to warn call center employees of possible workplace violations, which can include:
- Booting up a computer, signing into applications, and downloading work instructions before beginning their shifts;
- Waiting on hold with technical support when disconnected from computer systems and networks;
- Shutting down computers and signing out of applications after ending their shifts; and
- Reading, writing, and responding to work-related emails before and after their shifts.
The time it takes to complete these tasks can add up to several minutes each day.
The suit was filed by a former PAR in an Illinois federal court, seeking damages on behalf of similarly situated employees for unpaid wages and overtime, attorney fees, and other remedies to which they may be entitled under the law.
The attorneys in Sommers Schwartz Employment Litigation Group are interviewing people currently or previously employed as Patient Account Representatives for Northshore University Healthsystem regarding their experiences with the company’s alleged unlawful pay practices. If worked in a Northshore call center and have information to share, please contact us today!