Call Center Overtime Lawsuit Attorney in McAllen, TX
Unpaid Wages Lawyer for Call Center EmployeesIt’s no surprise that the number of call centers and call center employees has exploded over the past decade due to growing demand. Service-based businesses are on the rise, which means call centers are more important than ever for customer service, IT support, and more. Unfortunately, call center employees are not immune to their employers’ shady tactics for denying overtime pay. If you are a call center worker with unpaid overtime wages, you can file a call center overtime lawsuit. At Leichter Law, we take great pride in exclusively representing employees in cases against their employers. We see countless cases involving significant and systemic violations of wage and hour laws. We use our specialized knowledge of Texas employment law to help workers file call center overtime lawsuits. You worked long, hard hours, and you deserve fair compensation for those hours. We’re here to help you fight for that compensation. To schedule a free consultation with us about your case, please call our office at 512-495-9995 today.
What Is a Call Center?
A call center can either be a standalone company or one department of a larger company. Call centers provide telecommunications services, such as making outbound calls, taking inbound calls, and helping companies improve their efficiency. Many call center employees act as customer service representatives or IT support specialists.
While the overall concept of call centers remains fairly consistent across the board, there are actually several different types of call centers. We list these different types below.
- Domestic call centers
- Inbound call centers
- Outbound call centers
- Virtual call centers
- Automated call centers
- Omnichannel call centers
- Multichannel call centers
Call Center Employee Rights
Much like other types of employees, call center employees enjoy certain protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). For example, they can earn either state or federal minimum wage, whichever is higher. They are also entitled to receive overtime wages for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek if they are non-exempt.
The FLSA also protects call center and customer service representatives against employer retaliation. Other protections under the FLSA include rest and meal breaks, accurate recordkeeping, and the right to file civil lawsuits in the case of a violation.
Which Call Centers Are Protected Under the Fair Labor Standards Act?
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, many call center workers are entitled to overtime pay. The Department of Labor states that employees of call centers are covered by the FLSA “if the annual dollar volume of a call center’s sales or business is $500,000 or more, and the enterprise has at least two employees.”
The FLSA also explicitly outlines individual employee protections if the business does not meet the $500,000 annual requirement. If an employee engages in “interstate commerce, the production of goods for interstate commerce, or in an occupation closely related and directly essential to such production,” they are covered by the FLSA.
Examples of work duties covered by nonexempt employees include conducting business through interstate calls, handling insurance claims, ordering/receiving goods from out-of-state suppliers, and handling bookkeeping or accounting for those duties.
How Many Call Center Workers Are There in the United States?
According to the latest statistics from 2022, over 450,000 people work in a central customer service operation or call center role in the United States.
States That Employ the Most Call Center Workers
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the five states that employ the highest number of call center workers are, in descending order, Texas, Florida, California, New York, and Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, non-exempt employees at many call centers are frequent victims of wage theft.
What Are Common Call Center Wage Disputes?
It’s no surprise that many call center employees are unaware that they qualify for overtime pay. In fact, call center employers often take advantage of this lack of knowledge to avoid fairly compensating employees for overtime hours they worked. If a call center worker or customer service representative is entitled to overtime wages, but their employer doesn’t pay, they could have a valid unpaid wage claim.
Can Call Center Workers Earn Overtime Pay?
Due to the nature of the work, most call center employees are considered nonexempt employees under the FLSA. Because of this, they are usually entitled to overtime pay. Sadly, this does not automatically mean their employers will honor the regulations of the FLSA.
Common ways employers deny overtime pay include misclassifying employees as exempt and requiring work off the clock. Unless you meet the following criteria, you should be entitled to overtime pay under the FLSA.
- You earn a salary of at least $684 weekly.
- Your primary duties include office and business-related tasks without any manual labor.
- Your primary duties involve using your own discretion and judgment as it relates to business matters.
Remember that just because someone earns a salary does not automatically exempt them from overtime wages. The best way to know if you qualify for overtime is to contact a Texas lawyer for unpaid wages.
Can Pre-Shift and Post-Shift Work Be Compensated?
Suppose you are a call center employee who regularly works an extra 30 minutes before or after your scheduled 8-hour shift. If you did this every day in a single workweek, you would have worked 42.5 hours in total.
While two and a half hours might seem like an insignificant amount of time, you could lose out on significant income if your employer fails to pay you for those overtime hours. If you are a non-exempt employee, you deserve proper compensation for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. The team at Leichter Law can evaluate your case and help you pursue an unpaid overtime claim against your employer, if applicable.
Before ever making their first telephone calls of the day, many call center workers perform essential work-related tasks like booting up their computers, checking and responding to emails, running computer programs, and watching training videos. Many employers do not pay employees for this time even though they are entitled to fair compensation. Pre-shift work is compensable under the FLSA as long as the work is important to their jobs.
The same problem arises for workers at call centers when they complete essential post-shift work. Imagine that a worker’s shift ends at 5 p.m., but they stay on the phone with a customer until 5:15. Then, they likely have to fill out paperwork for the call and shut down their computer for the day. This could take another 15 minutes or more.
In this case, the post-shift work is compensable because it involves essential job duties. Therefore, employers must compensate their employees for this time, or they could face call center overtime lawsuits.
How Can I File an Unpaid Overtime Claim as a Call Center Employee?
If you are a call center worker whose employer has failed to compensate you properly for your overtime hours, we strongly recommend speaking with an attorney. As soon as you realize you may be the victim of wage theft, contact the team at Leichter Law. We can evaluate the facts of your situation and determine if you are eligible for an unpaid overtime claim.
How Much Can I Recover in an Unpaid Wages Claim?
This depends on a few factors. In most cases, employees are entitled to the wages their employer originally failed to pay them. However, this amount may be doubled in cases where an employer purposely withheld wages from the employee. Employees may also be able to recover court costs and attorney fees.
Can My Boss Fire Me for Filing a Claim Under the FLSA?
No. The Fair Labor Standards Act expressly prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for filing claims for overtime wage violations. If an employee was denied overtime pay they deserved, they can file a claim against their employer. If that employer retaliates against the employee for that claim, they will likely face even worse penalties than they originally would have.
Why Choose Leichter Law?
So, how does the team at Leichter Law differ from other employment law firms in Texas? We are uniquely qualified to handle wage and hour disputes because we specialize in Texas employment law. Our Board-Certified Labor and Employment Law Specialist, David Langenfeld, is one of a very small number of attorneys with this particular specialization.
Very few attorneys obtain legal specializations, and even fewer obtain specializations in labor and employment law. Because of his unique knowledge and experience in these cases, he is highly skilled at litigating these cases.
Contact an Unpaid Overtime Attorney with Leichter Law Today
If you are a call center worker whose employer has failed to pay the overtime you earned, you may have a valid FLSA claim. We strongly recommend contacting our office to schedule a consultation about your case. Our team will evaluate the facts of your case and help you hold your employer accountable for their actions. To schedule a free consultation with us, please call our office at 512-495-9995 today.