Fidel Gutierrez filed a suit in a Phoenix federal court against Advanced Call Center Technologies. He accuses the company of denying overtime to many customer service representatives who are required to come in early. Gutierrez is paid $12 per hour at the company, and primarily handles calls for ACT clients such as AT&T and DirecTV.
Advanced Call Center Technologies required employees to come in roughly 15 minutes before their shifts started to make sure their phones and computers were functioning properly. On days there was a technological issue, they would have to come in even earlier. But the employees were denied those minutes in their paycheck, which add up to a decent amount of overtime in wages.
In his suit, Gutierrez accused the company of being in “reckless disregard” of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (known as FLSA), as well as Arizona’s wage and hour laws.
The FLSA was enacted by Congress in 1938 and set up to ensure employees were paid a fair wage by their employer. Individual States have the ability to create greater protections for employees, the FLSA just serves as a baseline for employers to follow.
The general requirements of FLSA outline an employer is required to pay non-exempt employees the minimum federal minimum wage. As of 2018, this number is $7.25 per hour. If an employee works over 40 hours in a workweek, the employer must automatically pay them “time and a half.”
For example, the federal minimum wage of $7.25 would automatically increase to $10.88 per each hour worked over 40 hours.
ACT is not the first call center to be in hot water regarding overtime. Other call centers such as Bloomberg, JPMorgan, and Capital One have faced similar claims from employees who accuse them of denying overtime wages.
Just this year, Bloomberg paid $3 million to settle a case that involved more than 60 call center employees in New York. JPMorgan brokered a $3.75 million deal to settle a lawsuit in Texas as well.
In an interview with Law360, an attorney for ACT, Mark Temple, said, “The company believes there is no merit to the allegations and looks forward to vigorously defending the case.”
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