Wage theft is an all too common occurrence at call centers, enough of a problem that the U.S. Department of Labor published a warning describing the various ways call center workers can be robbed of their hard-earned pay. TTEC (formerly known as TeleTech) is no stranger to these accusations, and a new lawsuit seeks to compensate wage abuse victims for back pay and unpaid overtime.
TTEC Call Center Agents
TTEC is a global leader in business process outsourcing, with 48,000 employees around the world, including those who work at brick-and-mortar call center locations in the United States. Call center workers perform a number of duties during their work day, time for which they are entitled to be paid.
According to a new class action against the company, TTEC is accused of failing to pay call center representatives for time spent:
- Booting up and initiating computer systems, logging into programs and applications, and downloading daily work instructions before beginning their shifts;
- Waiting on telephone hold with technical support when they are disconnected from TTEC’s computer systems and networks;
- Logging out of programs and applications and shutting down computers after ending their shifts;
- Working during mandatory lunch, meal breaks, and rest periods.
Withholding pay for these “off the clock” tasks is a violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage and hour laws. The total unpaid time is often significant, sometimes several minutes each day that exceed 40 hours a week – time for which the call center workers must be paid overtime at time-and-a-half.
U.S. Department of Labor Alert
Rampant wage theft and abuse in call centers prompted the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division to issue a warning describing various illegal pay practices. Fact Sheet #64 states:
In general, “hours worked” includes all time an employee must be on duty, or on the employer’s premises or at any other prescribed place of work, from the beginning of the first principal activity of the workday to the end of the last principal activity of the workday. Also included is any additional time the employee is allowed (i.e., suffered or permitted) to work. An example of the first principal activity of the day for agents/specialists/representatives working in call centers includes starting the computer to download work instructions, computer applications, and work-related emails.
Are You a TTEC/TeleTech Call Center Worker?
The attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’s Wage & Hour Litigation Group are currently interviewing people employed who were employed by TTEC or TeleTech at any time during the last five years regarding their experiences, suspected wage theft, and the right to compensation. If you worked as a customer service representative, sale agent, support technician, or any other telephone-based call center position, please contact us today to discuss your case.