Call center employees sue for overtime pay

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Jan. 3, 2011, 6:15am

MARSHALL-Several customer service agents have filed a class action against their employer for failing to pay overtime to thousands of its telephone-dedicated customer service employees.

Individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Wendy Shofner, Sharon Cole, Linda Coppedge, Lisa Carniello and Christina Daily filed suit against Convergys Corp. and Convergys Customer Management Group Inc. on Dec. 17 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

The lawsuit argues that the defendants are violating the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay overtime to thousands of telephone-dedicated employees who perform work for the company both before and after their assigned work shifts.

The employees state that Convergys has thousands of these telephone-dedicated employees who work in more than 60 customer contact centers/call centers, which the suit states is the backbone of the service the defendants provide to their clients.

According to the court documents, the defendants' policy is to pay its contact center agents only for the time that they are logged into their phone systems and available for answering calls.

"The systematic failure to pay for unrecorded and routine work activities adds up to thousands of dollars per year in unpaid wages and overtime wages for each of these employees," the lawsuit states.

Claiming violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the employees are asking the Court for an award of unpaid back wages, liquidated damages, court costs, attorney's fees and interest.

The plaintiffs are represented by J. Derek Braziel and Meredith Mathews of Lee & Braziel in Dallas, Richard J. Burch of Bruckner Burch in Houston and Darren K. Coleman of Boon, Shaver, Echols & Coleman in Longview.

A jury trial is requested.

Case No. 2:10-cv-00568

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