A Utah man has alleged that his call center job required unpaid work that deprived him of his rightful paycheck.
Nathan Brunswick’s class action lawsuit accuses Unisys of benefiting from his and other employees’ time, which they spent booting-up and preparing their computer systems before logging into the timekeeping system.
Unisys is a “technology solutions company” whose many clients worldwide include banks, colleges, and local governments. Brunswick worked for Unisys for nine years, starting in 2012, and during his tenure he routinely worked a 40-hour workweek.
If given credit for time spent booting-up, Brunswick in fact worked more than 40 hours, and should have received time-and-a-half pay for any hours beyond full time.
Because company policy effectively required work time to occur off the clock, Brunswick and other customer service representatives were unjustly denied that compensation.
Before their workday officially began, customer service representatives had to turn on their computers, enter a password, and login to “multiple computer programs, servers, and applications,” plus a phone system, according to Brunswick’s complaint. Only then could they mark themselves “available” for a call and get credit from Unisys for their labor.
Likewise, at the end of a shift, an employee was required to first clock out, then exit numerous programs they had opened in order to complete work tasks.
The time spent preparing for and ending the workday was, in fact, part of the workday itself, and should have been compensated as such. Over time, boot-up sequences add up to many hours of unpaid work.
These tasks were “integral and indispensable to the job duties” of Brunswick and other customer service representatives, and their daily performance “directly benefited [Unisys],” according to the complaint. By profiting from the free labor it demanded, Unisys “unjustly enriched” itself at employees’ expense.
The class action status of the lawsuit would apply to any employees who worked as call center employees, either in-person or remotely, during the past three years. It is expected that class would include hundreds of current or former employees.
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