Call Center Overtime Lawsuits Attorney in Austin and Houston
Are You a Call Center Employee Who Was Denied Overtime Pay?
Telemarketing and call center businesses have boomed in recent years due to the rise of service-based companies. Many call center employees work as customer service representatives, IT support, and other helpful employees. Chances are, if you’ve ever called a company with a question or problem, you’ve spoken to a call center worker. Unfortunately, even call center employees are regularly subjected to unpaid overtime wages. If you are a call center worker whose employer fails to compensate them fairly, contact Leichter Law about call center overtime lawsuits.
At Leichter Law, our Texas employment lawyers have considerable experience helping nonexempt employees recover the overtime pay they are entitled to. The Fair Labor Standards Act clearly outlines which employees are exempt from overtime wages and which are not exempt. If you suspect your employer has violated the FLSA by failing to pay your overtime hours, contact a Houston overtime lawyer today. Call Leichter Law at 512-495-9995 to schedule your consultation.
What Are Call Centers?
Call centers can be independent companies or branches of larger companies that provide services for telecommunications. Their main duties are to take incoming calls, make outgoing calls, and increase efficiency for a company. They may also generate leads, take surveys, and perform other duties.
Different types of call centers offer different types of services. Generally speaking, the different types of call centers are as follows.
- Automated call centers
- Inbound call centers
- Outbound call centers
- Virtual call centers
- Multichannel call centers
- Omnichannel call centers
- Domestic call centers
Which Call Centers Are Covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act?
According to the United States Department of Labor, all employees at a call center are covered by the FLSA if the business has an annual dollar volume of $500,000 or more. The call center must also have at least two employees to be covered by the FLSA.
Notably, employees may also be covered by the FLSA if they engage in interstate commerce, produce goods for interstate commerce, or work in a position closely related to interstate commerce.
How Many People Work at Call Centers?
According to 2023 statistics, the United States currently has over 470,000 people employed as call center workers.
Which States Employ the Most Call Center Workers?
So, which states are home to the most call center employees compared to other states? The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the states with the highest employment levels of call center workers are Texas, Florida, California, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Common Call Center Wage Disputes
Unfortunately, as in many other occupations, call center employees often face significant and systemic violations of their rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Examples of these violations include unpaid wages, overtime wage violations, and many others. Call center and customer service representatives who have not been paid what they are owed can file civil lawsuits against their employers for damages.
Are Call Center Employees Entitled to Overtime Pay?
Most call center employees are covered under the FLSA, which means they are entitled to overtime wages. Unfortunately, just because they qualify for overtime does not mean their employers will abide by the rules of the FLSA.
Ways in which employers can cause wage disputes in the workplace include misclassifying nonexempt employees as exempt employees and requiring employees to complete work before or after their shift.
If you meet the below criteria, this means you are exempt from overtime pay, and your employer is not required to pay it.
- Paid a salary of at least $684 per week
- Primary duties include non-manual labor that revolves around office tasks and business operations
- Primary duties involve using one’s judgment and discretion with regard to matters of the business
Therefore, just because someone is paid a salary, this does not exempt them from overtime pay.
Is Pre-Shift and Post-Shift Work Compensable?
Let’s say that an employee in a central customer service operation regularly works an extra 30 minutes before or after their shift starts. If they were to do this every day in a workweek, they would have worked 42.5 hours instead of 40.
Although two and a half hours may not seem like a lot of extra work, the overtime pay for those hours quickly adds up. If a call center employer fails to pay employees for their extra work, they could be liable for an unpaid wages claim.
Unpaid Overtime Before the Shift
Many employees in call centers complete several tasks before they start making telephone calls. They may spend 15 minutes or more turning on their computers, running programs, watching training videos, or checking their emails before they take the first call. Because those tasks are essential for their job, they should be compensated for the extra time they worked before their shift.
Unpaid Overtime After the Shift
Many call centers consider the end of the shift to be the end of a pay period. However, if an employee is still on the phone with a customer, they can’t just hang up and resume the conversation later. They must complete the call, fill out paperwork, and shut down their computer programs. The minutes that it takes to do these tasks can quickly add up.
Call center employees must compensate their employees for time worked before and after their shift has ended, as long as they were performing work that is essential for their job.
How to File an Unpaid Overtime Claim for Call Center Employees
Imagine that you have worked an extra 15 minutes every weekday for the past 20 weeks. You are paid at an hourly rate of $15 an hour. If you are paid for that extra time at your regular hourly rate, you should have made $375 from those cumulative extra hours. At your overtime rate, which is the rate at which you should be paid for extra work, you would make $562.
If your employer has failed to compensate your overtime at the appropriate rate of pay, you may have the basis for a claim under the FLSA. The best way to determine whether you are or are not exempt from overtime is to speak with an experienced unpaid overtime lawyer. We will evaluate the facts of your case, determine your eligibility, and calculate the damages your employer owes you.
How Much Money Can I Recover?
It depends. Generally, claimants are entitled to the wages their employer originally owed them. This amount may be doubled in certain circumstances. Additionally, this amount may be doubled to punish the employer for withholding wages. The employer may even be required to cover your court costs and attorney fees. To learn more about potential recoveries for non-exempt employees, contact Leichter Law today.
Can My Employer Fire Me for Filing an FLSA Claim?
No. Workplace retaliation of any form is prohibited under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Section 15(a)(3) of the FLSA reads that it is illegal for any person to “discharge…any employee because such employee has filed any complaint.” If your employer fires you, discriminates against you, or takes another negative employment action against you, you can file a claim under the FLSA.
Why Contact Leichter Law?
At Leichter Law, we have something that many other law firms do not – a legal specialization in Texas employment law. Only a small fraction of attorneys actually acquire legal specializations and an even smaller amount have specializations in labor and employment law. Our talented, highly experienced employment attorneys have decades of practice representing employees in cases against their employers. Let us put our experience to work in your case. Contact our law firm today.
Contact the Unpaid Overtime Lawyers at Leichter Law Today
If you are a call center employee who has yet to receive the overtime wages you earned, you may have a case under the FLSA. The best way to protect yourself and your rights is to contact the skilled, compassionate employment lawyers at Leichter Law. To schedule your consultation with us, please call our office at 512-495-9995 today.