Sommers Schwartz attorneys Matthew Turner and Alana Karbal secured a confidential $5.125 settlement in a class action lawsuit along with 811 individual arbitrations for unpaid wages and overtime. The plaintiffs – employees of a healthcare-related call center company – claimed their employer violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to properly pay them for all hours worked.
The plaintiffs worked in the defendant’s onsite facilities and from home as remote call center agents. Like many employees who engage in virtual work, the plaintiffs alleged they weren’t compensated for “off the clock” work, including the time to boot up their computers and log into their work systems, or for times when they experienced connectivity issues or technical difficulties that interfered with their job performance. The plaintiffs alleged these aggregated amounts were significant, resulting in employees regularly working more than 40 hours per week without overtime compensation.
Many defendants see arbitration agreements with class action waivers as the ultimate defense against wage and hour cases because plaintiff’s attorneys will not be willing to handle large numbers of small-dollar individual arbitrations. This case was a classic example of what can happen when plaintiff’s lawyers, like those at Sommers Schwartz, will call their bluff and marshal the resources necessary to pursue large numbers of individual arbitrations.
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