Customer Service and Call Center Wage Laws
A call center is a central customer service operation where agents (often called customer care specialists or customer service representatives) handle telephone calls for their company or on behalf of a client. Clients may include mail-order catalog houses, telemarketing companies, computer product help desks, banks, financial services and insurance groups, transportation and freight handling firms, hotels, and information technology (IT) companies. Often, unscrupulous employers in the call center industry will cut corners on employee wages in order to increase their profit. As a result, thousands of workers in this industry have had and are having their wages stolen by their employer. The top wage violations in the customer service/call center industry are:
- Failing to pay workers overtime for all hours worked in excess of 12 per day or 40 per week. Even salaried workers usually are entitled to overtime pay. To avoid overtime, employers in this industry often will illegally average hours worked over two weeks or pay overtime as “comp time”.
- Treating workers as independent contractors to avoid the cost of overtime, insurance and payroll taxes. Very few workers in this industry truly qualify as independent contractors.
- “Shaving” or under-reporting worked hours to avoid paying for those hours. Often this takes the form of automatic deductions for meal/rest breaks that never were taken or that were less than thirty minutes of uninterrupted time.
- Not paying workers for certain tasks performed before, during or after their regular shift such as starting computers or checking emails, employee meetings and training programs. Often employers illegally claim that this work is “off the clock”.
- Paying per diem instead of wages to avoid overtime pay.
- Paying a flat daily or job rate without consideration of the number of hours worked and the overtime pay requirements.
- Failing to provide meal and rest breaks.
If your employer is violating the customer service/call center overtime pay laws, you (and other employees) may be entitled to thousands of dollars of back pay. Please contact us for a free and confidential case evaluation or simply to learn more about customer service/call center workers and the overtime pay laws.