Top Class Actions
Coulda Used Employee Directory Assistance? Seems the masters of directory assistance could’ve used some help with their own employee directory—or at least with how they classified certain employees. So, they finally called “overtime” on unpaid overtime at AT&T and its subsidiaries BellSouth Telecommunications Co, and Pacific Bell Telephone Co. The telecom giant got hit with a couple of class action lawsuits this week, alleging that they withheld as much as $1 billion in overtime wages from 5,000 plus first level managers who worked for PacBell in the states where BellSouth does business.
Although most of us can likely guess what the charges are, just for the record AT&T allegedly violated the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as well as California State Laws by deliberately misclassifying thousands (yes, thousands) of level one managers as being exempt from overtime wages. Yeah, that would probably save shareholders a bundle. Other allegations include not paying for meal and rest breaks—how predictable.
So, who’s eligible? There are two classes:
1) The “Off-the-clock” class consists of “All First Level (or Level One Managers) employed by BellSouth from December 2006 and thereafter who were assigned technicians as direct reports and who were classified by the company as non-exempt employees under the FLSA.”
2) The misclassification class consists of “all First Level (or Level One Managers) employed by BellSouth from December 2006 and thereafter who were assigned technicians as direct reports and who were classified by the company as exempt employees under the FLSA.”
We’re Sorry, the Number You Have Dialed…allegedly ain’t a part of our plan. This one was all over the media this week. MetroPCS has been accused of false advertising— dare we say downright misleading advertising—around its ‘unlimited international calling plan.’
The advertising went something like $5 a month on top of the $45 per month flat fee will get you unlimited international calling. Well, if it sounds too good to be true…Apparently, MetroPCS neglected to mention that the international calling plan excluded calls to many foreign destinations.
So, a class action has been filed, but has yet to be certified, representing anyone who purchased the aforementioned calling plan without knowing that it was pretty much bogus (my words, not theirs). The class period is between June 1, 2009 through and including December 9, 2009.
Cleaning Solution? Cintas laundry workers in LA got an early Christmas present this week, with the announcement of a $6.5 million settlement of their class action against the industrial launderer, but it does need to be approved in court.
The suit had alleged that Cintas violated the City of Los Angeles Living Wage Ordinance. It was filed in 2004. I’ll bet those workers thought the suit would never end—that’s nearly six years of litigation…
The settlement is reportedly the largest monetary amount ever paid for alleged violations of a living wage ordinance. It includes $3.3 million in back wages and interest for more than 500 Southern California Cintas laundry workers at the company’s Ontario, Pico Rivera, and Whittier locations.
But this isn’t a new thing for Cintas. Approximately one year ago, the company had to fork over $1.4 million in back wages, interest and penalties to hundreds of their laundry workers in Northern California—for—you guessed it—violating another city’s Living Wage Ordinance.
That’s it for this week. See you at the bar!