Sykes Customer Service Agents Unpaid Wages Class Action Lawsuit

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New York, NY: An unpaid wages class action lawsuit has been filed against Sykes Enterprises, which purchased Alpine Access in August, 2012. Filed by a group of former employees on behalf of all other current or former employees of SEI similarly situated, the lawsuit contends that SEI willfully violated state and federal labor laws including the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).

According to the lawsuit, SEI employs over 38,000 employees in 75+ global customer service call centers across the United States and 23 other countries. SEI also employs thousands of at home agents throughout North America. These operations are staffed by “customer service agents,” “customer service representatives,” “medical customer service agents,” “technical customer service agents,” “bilingual Spanish customer service agents,” and other similarly described personnel (collectively, “CSAs”). However, regardless of the employees’ job titles, all CSAs at SEI perform the same basic job duties – providing customer support to individuals over the telephone.

The CSA jobs at SEI (both at-home and at call center locations) are unskilled, non-exempt positions that typically pay from $8.00 to $11.80 per hour (i.e., a few dollars more than the federally mandated minimum wage).

In July, 2008, US Department of Labor issued Fact Sheet #64 to alert call center employees to some of the abuses which are prevalent in the industry. One of those abuses, which is occurring in this case, is an employer’s refusal to pay for work “from the beginning of the first principal activity of the workday to the end of the last principal activity of the workday.”

The lawsuit contends that “in order to perform their job, Plaintiffs were required to start up a USB Drive and log-in to several secure servers in order to access pertinent client data, sales records, etc. The preliminary setup and log-in process involved the startup of an entire suite of programs, the creation of secure (VPN) connections with SEI’s and its corporate customer’s computer systems, and the downloading of customer information. A typical CSA logs in and out of these systems 2-3 times per day as part of their work schedule.”

Additionally, the lawsuit states “Plaintiffs were not allowed or even able to electronically “clock in” for their shift(s) until the setup and log-in process was complete; meaning that Plaintiffs and all Class members worked “off-the-clock” during the “boot-up” process without compensation. The time Plaintiffs spent setting up and logging in each session directly benefitted SEI and the process was an essential part of Plaintiffs’ job responsibilities as a CSA,” the lawsuit reads.

The Plaintiffs contend that “SEI’s computer system automatically “clocked out” Plaintiffs at the end of their designated shift(s) even if Plaintiffs were in the middle of a call. The postliminary activity was never accounted for or paid for by SEI, even though they had the ability to do so.”

The Plaintiffs allege that these postliminary activities were an essential part of Plaintiffs’ job responsibilities and these off-the-clock activities directly benefitted SEI and its corporate clients.



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Last updated May 30 2013

Reader Comments

Posted by
amanda
on
This company is terrible! They made me jump through so many hoops to prove that my issue wasn't my ISP like they claimed it was and then put me out of production. I would never recommend this company to anyone. HR was even rude when I was explaining all the mess I had to go through. no compassion for their employees but expect us to have compassion as we work for them. I will never get paid for the weeks I was out of training and it was proven to be their fault. Its a joke

Posted by
Pedrina Wynn
on
I have been with Sykes now off and on since June 2014. I was supposed to have started another assignment in December 2015 but it never came through. Now I was told that I am in the "Ready Resource" department but yet can't seem to get employed. I have been on 3 different interviews with Sykes and I was told that I would get a job and I was denied the jobs. One job Sykes said was an error and I should have been given the job so I was put back with an interview and then today I was denied the job again before I even had a chance to interview and this is very strange.

Posted by
Leah vogelsang
on
I've worked there & was supposed to be permanent position.& 6 months commitment & then decide to rejoin. However.thry cut the job early by several months & said we were laid off early with no severance pay. We were laid wrong each week & still continue to talkbro prior employees that were in the same situation. A lot of drama & really abusive. Never got paid right ever & they do rd by fulfil our signed.agreement. Plus I have papers staying we're full time permanent employees but just used us for the holidays with no severance pay. Have 32 people no notice & 132 3 am notice of layoff but we were terminated according to Nathanel williams.

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