San Francisco, CA: A proposed class action has been filed against Verizon over allegations that the the company cut costs by refusing to pay overtime and forcing employees to work through mandated meal and rest breaks.
Filed by a FiOS field manager, plaintiff Ulysses Aburto claims Verizon told him and other FiOS field managers that they were salaried employees and therefore exempt from the overtime requirements of California wage and hour laws.
According to the complaint, Aburto and others did jobs that lacked the characteristics of exempt employment and were managers "in name only." The plaintiffs "do not have managerial duties or authority and should therefore have been properly classified as non-exempt employees," Aburto claims.
Plaintiffs who may qualify for the class are current and former field managers who worked for Verizon in the four-year period before January 14, 2011. Class members work between 20 and 40 hours of overtime per workweek but are not paid for that time, the suit says.
This misclassification by Verizon is part of a corporate policy and practice that is "affirmative, willful and deceitful," Aburto alleges.
The complaint alleges unlawful business practices, failure to pay overtime or provide accurate itemized wage statements, and violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201.
In seeking class certification, Aburto is asking the court to order the defendant to pay any unlawfully withheld compensation. He also seeks compensatory and liquidated damages, and an injunction to end Verizon's alleged illegal wage and hour policy.