Treatment Of Call Center Employees Under Federal Overtime Law

In recent post I’ve discussed growing issues of employers that require employees to work off-the-clock, including responding to off-shift e-mails and cell phone calls.  Another area of frequent off-the-clock overtime violations involves employees who work at call centers as customer service representatives.

The Fair Labor Standards Act requires covered, non-exempt employees be paid time and a half for all hours worked over 40 per work week. Call Center employees and customer service representatives, under most circumstances, qualify for overtime pay for any time that they work over forty hours in a given week.  Employers often fail to pay these employees their required overtime wages. In addition, call center employees and customer service representatives are often required to work “off the clock” in violation of the law.  This work can include time spent:

  • Booting up computers and logging in & out systems and programs
  • Making notes and completing paperwork before or after calls have been completed
  • Reading company memos and updates
  • Attending meetings and required training programs
  • Working through lunch breaks

There have been several recent lawsuits brought on behalf of call center employees and customer service representatives to recover unpaid overtime compensation and pay for work done off the clock. In a lawsuit against Sprint/United Management Co., Sprint agreed to a $9 million settlement to compensate call center employees for working before their shifts, after their shifts or during meal breaks.  In another such suit, APAC Customer Services, Inc. agreed to settle an overtime claim with their customer service representatives for $4 million as payment for time spent logging into the computer system, performing clerical duties and reviewing company notices prior to logging into the company’s timekeeping system.

Overtime cases require analysis of federal statutes, U.S. Department of Labor regulations, and court decisions.  I can help you with any employment law or labor law questions that you might have.  Please feel free to contact me for a free initial consultation about employment law or labor law.


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