LOS ANGELES — A sales associate for Zillow, the online real estate company, filed a proposed class action overtime pay lawsuit against the company recently in California federal court. The sales associate’s claim is one of two lawsuits filed against the company by sales associates; the second includes claims of retaliation against a whistleblower. The claims allege Zillow failed to pay its sales associates as much as $5 million in overtime wages in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
A former Zillow sales associate, Ian Freeman filed the lawsuit on behalf of himself and at least 120 similarly situated hourly sales associates. Freeman began working at Zillow’s Irvine, California office a month after it opened in August 2012 and continued to work at the location until September of this year. Freeman claims the sales associates are “inside sales associates” and are entitled to overtime wages when they work more than 40 hours a week. Typically, if a sales associate performs the majority of their responsibilities away from their employer’s principal location, they are considered exempt from overtime as “outside sales” employees.
The lawsuit also alleges Zillow pressured sales associates to arrive early, stay late, and work through their meal breaks, all without pay. Freeman claims the company used memos, meetings, and other forms of intimidation to persuade the sales associates to work off the clock. Additionally, the company’s automated timekeeping system made it easier for the employer to automatically record employee hours despite the actual hours worked. The timekeeping system, regardless of the actual number of hours an employee worked, recorded the employee’s hours as 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The FLSA requires employers to maintain accurate records of employees’ hours. It also prohibits employers from requiring, explicitly or implicitly, employees to work off the clock.
State and federal laws, including the FLSA, also prohibit employers from taking adverse employment actions against employees who take part in protected activities, such as filing complaints or assisting in investigations of alleged violations of employment laws. In this case, Ashley Boehler, a current Zillow sales associate, claims he was given poor work reviews, micromanaged, lost lucrative accounts, and was written up in retaliation after reporting fraud and forged contracts. While the alleged retaliatory actions are not related to overtime complaints in this case, the same actions would be considered retaliation if they occurred shortly after an employee voiced a complaint about unpaid overtime or off the clock work requirements.
If your employer requires you to work off the clock or has taken adverse actions against you for raising concerns about overtime contact us today. Our experienced team of overtime pay lawyers can evaluate your situation and discuss your options at (855) 754-2795. Or you can complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form and our knowledgeable legal team will assess your case. If we accept your case, we will represent you under our No Fee Promise. This means there are no legal fees or costs unless you receive a settlement.