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Wage Theft in Call Centers is on the Rise

NEW YORK, NY — Call centers have been under a microscope lately due to a few companies who have violated various wage laws resulting in a loss in wages for their employees. Although most call centers play by the rules, the nature of the fast-paced and competitive business can sometimes lead to various wage violations.

A common issue is “off the clock” work. In the industry, preparing for your shift can include running computer programs, reading instructions, and reading work-related emails among other preparations. However, this “off the clock” work shouldn’t be off the clock. This work is considered to be payable activities. Other wage theft can be seen in unpaid short breaks. Short duration rest periods of usually 20 minutes or less are common in the Call Center Industry. They help promote employee efficiency and must be counted as hours worked. These issues, among others, can result in a significant amount of wage loss to the employee’s wages.

What are the Laws for Call Center Employee Overtime Pay?

Under the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA), call center employees are non-exempt in most cases and therefore entitled to overtime pay.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division, covered nonexempt employees are entitled to be paid at least the federal minimum wage, as well as overtime at time and one-half their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

An exemption under the FLSA is determined by job description, job duties, rate of pay, and number of hours worked.

In some cases, there are also state overtime pay laws to consider that may complement or contradict the FLSA.

Is a Call Center Employee Entitled to Overtime Pay?

Call center employees are often considered non-exempt under the FLSA, meaning that they are entitled to overtime pay. Non-exempt employees are entitled to wages of one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for every hour worked past 40 in one week.

Telemarketers and customer service representatives often work before and after their shifts, causing them to exceed 40 hours in one week.

Many call centers workers are required to arrive early to boot up a computer or load dialing software before the “official work day” actual begins but do not pay for that extra time.  Although this may just seem like an extra fifteen minutes or so a day, it adds up over weeks, months, and years.  The same thing is true for extra time spent when the shift officially ends.

Call center companies and bosses typically tell wrokers that they are not entitled to overtime pay for these extra minutes a day.  However, this is a clear violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.   In general, “hours worked” includes all time an employee must be on duty including starting the computer to download work instructions, computer applications, and work-related emails.

FLSA Overtime Lawsuits

Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you believe that your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.

Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.


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