Specifically, the lawsuit contends that the telecommunications giant intentionally misclassified the workers as being exempt from overtime requirements in order to avoid giving them the extra pay they were entitled to under state and national employment laws.
Filed in the US District Court for the Central District of California, plaintiff Wendell Watson alleges that despite assigning the trainers their work and being aware that they often worked longer than 40 hours a week, AT&T refused to pay overtime to training specialists nationally.
"My fellow designers and instructors and I work hard for AT&T and take pride in contributing to its success,"Watson said in a statement. "We just ask that we be paid fairly under the law."
According to a statement issued by attorney' representing the plaintiff, AT&T employees involved in designing company trainings often work nights and weekends interviewing experts at the company and then passing the information on to instructors. In the lawsuit, Watson, an AT&T training design manager since 2001, states that the workers not only did not receive overtime but also regularly worked more than five consecutive hours without a required half-hour meal break or a second break after working for 10 hours.
The lawsuit also states that "In addition, the California plaintiff and California class members regularly work and have worked without being afforded at least one 10-minute rest break, in which they were relieved of all duty, per four hours of work."
AT&T is also being accused of failing to provide accurate wage statements, such that workers were not able to determine how much and for what hours they were being paid.
Watson is represented by Jahan Sagafi, Michael Litrownik and Deirdre Aaron of Outten & Golden LLP, and Jason Marsili and Brianna Primozic of Posner & Rosen LLP.
The case is Walton v. AT&T Inc., case number 2:15-cv-03716, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.