A proposed class and collective action claims AT&T Mobility Services LLC has failed to pay overtime to retail store and in-home expert employees.
The case explains the defendant operates retail stores, kiosks and in-store locations at which it employs non-overtime-exempt retail consultants, sales associates and others in similar roles who are tasked with providing customer support, services and sales of AT&T-branded wireless services and products. Retail employees are typically paid an hourly wage plus commissions, bonuses or incentives, the suit says.
The defendant also employs in-home experts who accompany installers of AT&T-branded services, such as U-verse or DirecTV, to customers’ homes and provide service, support and product education, according to the case. These employees are paid on a salary basis and similarly fall within the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime requirements, the suit says.
According to the complaint, however, AT&T has failed to properly and timely pay time-and-a-half overtime wages to retail store employees and in-home experts who put in more than 40 hours per week.
The plaintiff, who worked for AT&T as both a retail store employee and an in-home expert, alleges that retail workers were required to participate in “essential and indispensable communications” outside their scheduled work hours as a matter of policy and practice, causing them to accrue significant unpaid work hours.
“During such workweeks, for example, Plaintiff routinely worked for no pay and for no overtime, outside of scheduled work hours, by participating in employee mobile phone messaging and other communications, ranging from before shift hours began in the morning, to long after shift hours ended at night, including on days Plaintiff was not scheduled to work,” the complaint reads.
Per the complaint, employees were assigned a company mobile phone and expected to engage in work communications, including fielding customer calls and participating in work-related group chats, outside of their scheduled hours.
Moreover, the plaintiff claims retail store employees were also required to spend time working before clocking in and after clocking out “as a matter of routine.” The suit says employees were forced to “jump through unpaid hoops, including by accessing secured areas, logging into software, entering passwords, and navigating computer screens,” in order to clock in, which necessarily resulted in workers providing in-store customer service before being on the clock.
“Defendant made available no other way to avoid or reduce having such work time uncompensated,” the lawsuit claims.
Further still, the suit says AT&T employees were often required to participate in store opening or closing duties that only added to their unpaid work time.
The plaintiff alleges that when AT&T did pay overtime wages, it was at an incorrect rate. For example, the man’s paystubs on several occasions reflected several hours of overtime that were paid at his regular rate rather than at the statutory time-and-a-half rate, the case says.
The lawsuit goes on to allege AT&T’s in-home experts were also regularly required to work more than 40 hours per week without overtime pay. Even after leaving a customer’s home following the installation of an AT&T service, in-home experts continued to provide customer service and problem solving, the lawsuit states. According to the case, it was AT&T’s policy to require workers to continue fielding inquiries and complaints regardless of whether they made an ancillary upsell of another AT&T product at the customer’s home. The suit alleges that although such tasks caused employees to put in more than 40 hours per week, AT&T misclassified the workers as exempt from receiving overtime pay.
The lawsuit looks to cover two collectives of U.S. AT&T retail store employees and in-home experts who worked more than 40 hours in a workweek within the past three years.
AT&T has previously faced proposed class action litigation over allegations the telecommunications company discriminated against pregnant workers by refusing to excuse pregnancy-related work absences.
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