When companies offer telephone-based sales and support to serve their customers, many use in-house call centers and employ agents and representatives to handle the load. Yet many of those businesses purposefully or negligently cheat call center workers out of wages and overtime, denying them their hard-earned compensation.
Brick-and-Mortar and At-Home Call Center Employees
Reports of wage theft and wage abuse have surfaced among at-home and onsite call center workers in various companies across the U.S., including:
- American Express
- Bed Bath & Beyond
- Alamo Rent a Car
- Enterprise Rent-a-Car
- National Car Rental
- Critter Control
- Hart Medical Equipment
- Henderson Glass
- Windy City Call Center
Whether they work at home or brick-and-mortar locations, employees of corporate call centers who are robbed of compensation can bring legal actions against their employers under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and similar state laws. The problem is so common that the U.S. Department of Labor has issued a warning to alert workers of employers’ illegal pay practices, which can include the failure to pay call center agents for time spent:
- Booting up company computer systems, logging into necessary software applications, downloading work instructions, or attending team meetings before their shifts begin;
- Waiting on hold with corporate technical support departments if they become disconnected from computer systems and networks;
- Shutting down software applications and computer systems after their shifts end;
- Reading work-related emails before and after their shifts.
Collectively, these “off the clock” activities can account for several minutes of unpaid work each shift that can push total work hours above 40 hours a week, time for which employees are entitled to overtime. While the daily amounts may seem small, when added up, they often equal a week’s worth of wages per year! And in many instances, call center employees report being pressured not to report all the hours they work by managers and corporate policies requiring the employees to be “call ready” or risk violating attendance and/or schedule adherence policies.
Contact the Overtime Pay Attorneys for a Free Consultation about Suspected Wage Theft and Wage Abuse
If you work for a call center – at home or onsite – and suspect your employer is unlawfully withholding wages and overtime pay, you can pursue your right to recover compensation without the fear of retaliation or being fired. But you need an experienced employment attorney on your side. That’s where we can help.