Lawsuits Allege Companies Illegally Deny Tech Support Workers Overtime Pay
Last Updated on March 22, 2021
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are no longer investigating this matter. The information here is for reference only. A list of open investigations and lawsuits can be viewed here.
- March 22, 2021 – Investigation Closed
- Thank you to everyone who helped contribute to this investigation. Unfortunately, at this point, attorneys working with ClassAction.org have decided to close their investigation into this matter. If you have questions regarding your rights, please reach out to an attorney in your area. Most offer free consultations.
The information below was posted when the investigation began and exists for reference only. Our open list of investigations can be found here.
At A Glance
- This Alert Affects:
- Technology support and help desk workers who work more than 40 hours a week and do not receive overtime pay.
- What's Going On?
- A number of lawsuits have been filed alleging that companies are not paying overtime compensation to tech support workers as required by federal law.
- What Can I Receive Through a Class Action?
- You may be eligible to receive any overtime compensation you should have received in the past three years.
- Can I Be Fired for Filing a Lawsuit?
- Your employer cannot fire you or retaliate against you in any way for seeking unpaid overtime through a lawsuit.
- Type of Lawsuit:
- Class Action
A number of class action lawsuits have been filed alleging that certain companies are illegally denying tech support workers overtime pay by misclassifying them as exempt from federal overtime requirements.
Hewlett-Packard, Wells Fargo and IBM are just a few of the companies to be targeted over the way they compensate their tech support workers. In light of these allegations, attorneys are currently investigating whether other companies can be sued for failing to pay their tech support workers overtime wages.
It is important to remember that your salary and job title do not determine whether you should receive overtime. Even if you are a well-paid, salaried employee, you may still be entitled to overtime compensation under federal and state law if your primary job responsibilities do not fall within one of the narrow exceptions to federal overtime requirements.
Most Tech Support Workers Are Eligible for Overtime Compensation
The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) requires companies to pay most employees overtime compensation at a rate of one and one-half time regular pay.
Certain groups of employees, such as executives and managers, are exempt from the federal overtime requirement, meaning they are not entitled to overtime wages when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek. Although certain types of computer-related workers are also exempt and therefore not entitled to overtime pay, this exemption generally does not apply to employees whose primary duties include computer troubleshooting or installing and upgrading hardware and software at employee workstations.
Lawsuit Example: Hewlett-Packard Tech Support Employees Seeking Unpaid Pages
A group of technical support workers has filed a lawsuit against Hewlett-Packard (“HP”) alleging that the company violated the FLSA by failing to pay them overtime compensation. The HP employees who filed the suit are responsible for installing, maintaining and supporting computer software and hardware. According to the class action, HP misclassified this group of employees as exempt from the overtime provisions of the FLSA, as well as state wage and hour laws.
The HP employees who were allegedly denied overtime compensation had the following job titles:
- Technical solutions consultants
- Field technical support consultants
- Technical consultants
- Technology consultants
The class action seeks to represent all HP employees nationwide who worked for the company at any time within the past three years prior to the filing of the lawsuit.
The lawsuit against Hewlett-Packard is the latest in a long line of lawsuits alleging that some of the nation’s largest companies have illegally denied tech support and help desk workers overtime pay. For example, in 2007, IBM paid $65 million to settle an unpaid overtime lawsuit filed by current and former tech support workers whom IBM inappropriately classified as exempt from overtime pay.
What If I Am an Independent Contractor?
If your employer classifies you as an independent contractor, but you are subject to such close supervision that you are actually an employee, you may be able to file a lawsuit seeking overtime pay, as well as health insurance and other employee benefits you would have received as a regular employee of the company.
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