BOISE — Editors Note: The original article was posted on December 3, 2015 by the Idaho Statesman.
Virginia-based company Maximus, opened a new 1,600 employee call center facility in 2013 on Boise’s Hewlett Packard campus. The new call center was funded by a $100 million federal contract to assist the public in successfully navigating the launch of the new Affordable Care Act through healthcare.gov., according to the Idaho Statesman.
Chadwick Davis was one of the 1,600 employees who relocated to Boise in order to work at the new Maximus call center. However, like 1,500 of his coworkers Davis was laid off in 2015 after two years of employment.
Throughout his two years of employment, Davis and 45 call trainers located in Bose and Brownsville, Texas were pursuing litigation against Maximus alleging that the company failed to provide them with adequate overtime compensation.
“The main issue surrounding the lawsuit was never about having to work the long, and sometimes exhausting, hours that it took to get the center off the ground,” Davis said. “But it was always about being rightfully compensated for doing so.”
The lawsuit alleges that Maximus failed to pay them nearly 10,000 hours of overtime work. However, after analysis using statistical software it was determined that the lawsuit could only attempt to claim 3,458 hours of unpaid overtime work. The hours workers are attempting to acquire pay for includes work both on-site and off-the-clock at home work.
In mid-November 2015, a California U.S. District judge approved a class-action settlement against Maximus requiring that each trainer would be paid 80% of their unpaid overtime pay which totaled $375,800.
Because evidence showed that Maximus was worried that they would be sued for misclassifying their employees, the judge determined that the payment amount should be doubled as Maximus owed “liquidated damages” for failing to pay overtime.
The California and Boise based lawsuits are not the only lawsuits being filed against Maximus call centers on allegations of unpaid overtime benefits. Currently, there are over 100 past Maximus employees actively pursuing lawsuits to receive compensation for their due overtime pay.
Idaho Employment Regulations Information
Boise is by far the largest city in Idaho with recent population figures indicating that it’s population of 214,237 makes it the only Idaho city with a six-figure population. With Boise serving as the state’s most populous city, state capital, and the county seat of Ada county, it is one of the most economically influential areas in the state.
The size of Boise leads to a large amount of economic opportunity for new businesses and employees. While this is often mutually beneficial for employees and employers, there are times when an employer is able to take advantage of the cities economic size and exploit the rights granted to their workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
With employment violations oftentimes difficult to detect without a complaint or report filed from an employee, it is important that all employees fully understand their rights under Idaho law and the FLSA. These rights include minimum wage, overtime wage, and classification requirements.
Especially common in call centers like Maximus call centers, overtime wage requirements are often neglected by employers who unlawfully fail to fairly compensate their employees for overtime work. The FLSA states that all non-exempt workers must be paid 150% of their standard wage for all hours worked above the 40 hour standard 7-day work week.
Call centers frequently misclassify employees or simply neglect payment in order to avoid the heightened costs of paying overtime workers. For many employees, these neglected payments could total thousands of dollars that have been earned over years of work.
The minimum wage in Idaho currently stands at $7.25 meaning overtime pay rates should be at least $10.88 per hour and more for non-minimum wage workers.
If you believe that any employer neglected to pay you adequate overtime compensation or violated any other employment laws, contact an attorney to determine if you are eligible to pursue litigation against the violating employer. Call (855) 754-2795 to contact an attorney today to begin filing an unpaid overtime pay lawsuit.