BY: Jesse Young | IN: Unpaid Wages & Overtime
Reports from call center representatives working at Liberty Mutual Insurance suggest the carrier has unlawfully withheld their hard-earned wages and overtime for required off-the-clock work. The employees worked in five primary call centers across the U.S.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) gives hourly employees the right to be compensated for all job-related tasks. Purposely or negligently failing to pay workers is wage abuse that violates the FLSA and most state labor laws.
Liberty Mutual, known for television ads featuring the LiMu Emu and Doug characters, operates (or operated) five primary call centers in the U.S.:
Agents and representatives allege they were not paid for activities the company required them to perform, such as booting up computers, logging onto phone systems, and waiting offline for technical difficulties when disconnected from Liberty Mutual’s servers.
The attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’s Wage and Hour Litigation Group fight wage abuse on behalf of call center employees across the country. We’ve recovered unpaid wages and overtime for customer service representatives, associates, agents, account managers, customer advocates, and other hourly call and contact center workers. We are now investigating the reports of wage theft at Liberty Mutual and, if the allegations appear to be true, we intend to bring a class action lawsuit to hold the company accountable.
Under the FLSA and various state employment statutes, employers must pay call center workers for all hours worked, including all “principal activities,” even if those tasks occur outside an employee’s scheduled shift.
Call center representatives are expected to be ready to assist customers at the start of their shifts, but they often have several applications to launch before they can place or receive their first calls. It also takes time to shut down applications and computers at the end of a shift, but many call center employers don’t pay employees for that time.
The law is clear — employers must pay employees for time performing work-related tasks, including:
Unfortunately, wage theft is rampant in the call center industry due to these and other violations. The lost income can be substantial, sometimes up to 30 minutes in connection with each shift, and that time frequently qualifies for time-and-a-half overtime pay.
Call center and contact-center employment are on the rise. Roughly 2.83 million people in the U.S. worked in call or contact centers in 2020. Workers at call centers generally communicate with customers using only inbound and outbound phone communication, while contact center employees use increasingly popular channels such as live chats, chatbots, social media, or text.
If you have worked at a Liberty Mutual call center and suspect you have been a victim of wage theft and abuse, contact Sommers Schwartz to learn more about your rights and how we can help you recover compensation for unpaid wages and overtime.
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Jesse Young represents clients in serious employment disputes, such as severance negotiations, discrimination, retaliation, whistleblowing activity, employment contracts, terminations, and compliance. In addition, he has appeared in hundreds of wage-and-hour lawsuits and hundreds more arbitrations arising under the Fair Labor Standards Act and similar state laws.