CHICAGO – A group of employees who work at an AT&T call center have filed a lawsuit against the telecommunications company over allegations they were not paid for overtime work.
Plaintiffs Diane Calloway, Doretta Wagner, Carolyn Adams-Harris, Bridgett Tift, James Bloch, Mary Hanley, Audrey Michelle Otis, China Kella and Sharon McKenzie filed the lawsuit on behalf of themselves and other individuals against AT&T on Oct. 17 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
According to the plaintiffs, there are at least 500 people who are in a similar situation. The lawsuit adds that approximately 378 employees have consented to participate in the action.
“The precise number of collective members can be ascertained by using defendants’ payroll and personnel records,” the lawsuit states.
The plaintiffs allege AT&T purposely failed to pay overtime for employees who worked more than 40 hours in a week and also failed to keep accurate payroll records.
“Defendants knew that the Fair Labor Standards Act required them to pay one-and-one-half times the regular rate for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek and defendants knew that the FLSA required them to maintain true and accurate records,” the complaint states.
AT&T has the power to hire and fire call center representatives nationwide, and also to determine the rate and method of payment for such employees, including plaintiffs, by negotiating with the union that represents the plaintiffs, the lawsuit states.
The plaintiffs allege AT&T employs members of the Force Team, who use the IEX computer software program to record attendance and all times worked beyond scheduled hours.
AT&T maintains nationwide databases which record login and logout time stamps within the CTI system for all call center representatives nationwide, including the logouts from calls that occurred after the end time of their scheduled shifts, the lawsuit adds.
“During the collective period and at certain call center centers across the country, each of the defendants have utilized the CTI Logout data to calculate overtime pay for call center representatives without independent self-reporting, or rounding, of time worked,” the plaintiffs allege.
The plaintiffs said they are asking the court to order AT&T to change its compensation policy and pay their call center representative employees for all work performed. The plaintiffs are also seeking compensatory damages, including all pay owed.
The plaintiffs seek a declaration that AT&T violated the FLSA by failing to pay overtime wages, liquidated damages, and costs and attorneys' fees. They are represented by attorneys Jeffrey Grant Brown and Glen J. Dunn Jr., both of Chicago.