Global Response has been hit with a proposed class and collective action in which a former call center employee claims she and other customer service representatives were not paid for off-the-clock work performed before, during and after their shifts.
The 29-page case out of Michigan relays that defendants Global Response North Corporation, Global Response North LLC and Global Response LLC operate call centers through which they purportedly provide “outsourced customer service for the world’s top brands.” Per the case, the defendants’ call centers, referred to internally as contact centers, are located in Gwinn and Iron River, Michigan; Margate, Florida; and La Crosse, Wisconsin.
According to the lawsuit, Global Response has failed to compensate hourly paid customer service representatives—who work under a handful of titles, including customer service representative, brand specialist, service agent and service representative—for time spent on pre-shift, post-shift and mid-shift activities during which they are clocked out of the defendants’ timekeeping system.
As a matter of policy, customer service representatives (CSRs) are not permitted to clock in for their shifts until they are “call ready,” meaning they must log into and load their work-related computer programs and applications before clocking in, the case says. Per the suit, the defendants enforce this policy by “routinely evaluating, and at times disciplining” customer service representatives based on the amount of time they’ve spent clocked in but unavailable to field calls.
“Thus, Defendants forced their CSRs to perform the boot up and login process before clocking into Defendants’ timekeeping system,” the complaint attests.
The lawsuit argues that the workers’ pre-shift off-the-clock work, which took an average of 10 to 15 minutes each day or up to 30 minutes when the programs were not working properly, “directly benefits” the defendants, and is “integral and indispensable” to the customer service reps’ job responsibilities.
Similarly, the workers are instructed to clock out “the moment they are done fielding calls” and before logging out of their work applications and systems, the suit says. Per the case, this results in the workers not being paid for roughly two to five minutes of unpaid post-shift work per day.
The lawsuit further alleges that customer service reps frequently put in off-the-clock work upon returning from their unpaid lunch breaks and going through the login process, and when they experience technical difficulties, “which kicks them out of Defendants’ timekeeping system.”
According to the complaint, Global Response’s managers are aware of but “fail to make any effort to stop or disallow” employees’ off-the-clock work.
The case contests that in light of a July 2008 Department of Labor fact sheet noting that employers must pay call center employees from the beginning of their first principal activity to the end of the last principal activity, “there is no conceivable way for Defendants to establish that they have acted in good faith.”
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