BY: Rod Johnston | IN: Class Action & Commercial Litigation, COVID-19, Unpaid Wages & Overtime
The COVID-19 outbreak has posed ongoing threats to the health of livelihoods of employees across the U.S. While many jobs and industries have been affected, the need to provide ongoing customer service and support has helped many call center companies to keep their doors open. Unfortunately, failing to pay call center workers for “off the clock” work was a problem before the coronavirus pandemic, and it continues to rob employees of their hard-earned pay.
A January 2020 report indicates the U.S. telemarketing and call center industry generates more than $25 billion per year, providing sales and service support to travel, hospitality, healthcare, insurance, and other market sectors. Some 31,000 companies employ over 500,000 workers, many of whom work in at-home or brick-and-mortar positions like:
Employee compensation accounts for the majority of a call center’s operating costs, which creates an incentive for some companies to deny wages and overtime pay from phone-based workers.
Call center wage theft and violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state labor laws have been longstanding concerns. In July 2008, the U.S. Department of Labor issued an alert listing various ways call center employers withhold compensation by failing to pay frontline telephone representatives for time spent:
These tasks are considered “principal activities” that workers regularly performed before and after their scheduled shifts, and which require five to 30 minutes each day.
Groups of unpaid and underpaid call center employees have brought class action lawsuits seeking back pay and damages from major industry players and smaller call center operations.
Recently, claims of wage abuse have surfaced against these companies;
The attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’s Employment Litigation Group are investigating these allegations and pursuing legal action on behalf of remote and on-site customer service agents across the country to determine if their rights were violated and if they are owed unpaid wages.
If you were employed as an hourly call center worker for these or other companies at any time in the past three years, please contact us today to discuss your situation and your right to compensation.
View all posts byRod Johnston
Rod Johnston is a member of the Complex Litigation Group, participating in the firm’s direct and class action litigation on behalf of those harmed as a result of wage and overtime violations and consumer fraud.