How Working “Off the Clock” Can Leave Call Center Employees Underpaid
Call centers are notorious for not paying fair wages and overtime.
Employees often fall victim because they’re unaware of their rights.
Working Without Compensation
Employers responsible for operating call centers often require their employees to work “off the clock” without compensating them for their time.
Here are some examples of how call center employers have their employees work without compensation.
- Arrive early for pre-shift work meetings to discuss sales goals
- Wait to clock in while computers are booting-up
- Work “off the clock” during lunch or rest breaks
- Work while waiting to log into the call center phone system
Many of these practices violate the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).
Keep track of the time you work, whether “clocked in” or not.
Determining Your Unpaid Overtime Pay
Call center employers also frequently fail to include commissions when calculating the rate of overtime pay owed for hours worked in excess of forty in a work week.
Earnings may be determined on an hourly, salary, commission, or some other basis, but in all cases the overtime pay due must be computed on the basis of the regular hourly rate derived from an employee’s “total earnings”.
Total earnings are calculated by dividing the total pay in any workweek by the total number of hours actually worked.
Be sure to review your time and your pay stubs to ensure you’re paid the wages you’ve earned.
Unpaid Call Center Wages and the FLSA
Under the FLSA, all non-exempt employees – including call center employees – are entitled to compensation for all hours worked.
In general, “hours worked” under the FLSA includes,
- all time an employee must be on duty, or
- all time on the employer’s premises or
- all time at any other prescribed place of work, from the beginning of the first principal activity of the workday to the end of the last principal activity of the workday.”
Also included is any additional time the employee is allowed to work. This is frequently referred to as the “suffered or permitted” to work provision of the FLSA.
Employers Profit from Your Unpaid Wages
Failing to pay call center employees for a few minutes of time each day may seem insignificant. However, these small time increments can add up to hundreds or thousands of hours when dealing with a large group of employees, particularly when dealing with large call centers.
As a result of these violations, employers enjoy ill-gained profits at the expense of hourly employees.
If you are a current or former call center employee, and you believe that your current or former employer owes you unpaid wages, including minimum and overtime wages, contact Wenzel Fenton Cabassa P.A. today.