PHOENIX — David Colon, a Bank of America call center employee, filed a wage suit against the company for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Colon was employed by Bank of America at its call center in Tempe, Arizona for around eight months in 2013. The suit is a putative class action, and Colon is seeking to represent a class of call center employees employed at any Bank of America call center in the U.S. since January 7, 2013. This latest suit comes two years after Bank of America entered into a $73 million settlement of a multidistrict class suit alleging the bank violated FLSA by requiring more than 180,000 employees at retail banking centers or call centers to work off the clock. Companies such as Farmers Insurance Group, 21st Century Insurance Co., and AIG Insurance Services Inc., were also hit with class action wage suits from call center employees who alleged their wage rights under FLSA were violated.
Uncompensated Work at Call Centers
Colon argued in his suit that Bank of America required him to be logged in to the phone system when his shift began, which required him to do some work prior to his shift. Through its managers on the floor, the suit claimed that the bank knew call center employees worked outside of their shifts and permitted it to happen, but failed to pay them any overtime. Colon claims that each employee worked between fifteen and twenty minutes extra each day without pay, including work done before and after shifts as well as on breaks.
According to the suit, the bank disciplined employees if they were not logged into their phones to be able to handle calls as soon as their shifts started. As such, call center workers were required to arrive early to complete tasks such as booting up their computers, starting several software programs, and reading company-issued emails. Additionally, Colon claims that call center managers regularly witnessed employees doing uncompensated work outside of their regular shifts but did not do anything to stop or disallow this work. The suit also states that the bank had access to electronic information showing when employees logged into their computers, so it was aware that uncompensated work was being performed but failed to do anything to stop it.
Suffer or Permit
Under FLSA, compensable time includes any time where an employer suffers or permits employees to work. This means that if an employer requires or allows employees to work, they are employed and the time spent is probably hours worked. Time spent doing work not requested by the employer, but still allowed, is still likely hours worked since the employer knows or has reason to believe that the employees are continuing to work and the employer is benefiting from the work being done.
What counts as compensable time under FLSA is broad, and even time spent working outside of shifts is likely compensable. You should call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel your employee wage rights have been violated. Our top-rated team of wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action. We will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. There are strict time limitations for filing, so it is important that you call our experienced attorneys today.