A telephone customer service worker at American Express Travel Related Services Company ("American Express Travel") alleges that he and his coworkers were not paid for all the hours they worked and did not receive overtime pay as required by federal Fair Labor Standards Act and North Carolina state laws. The lawsuit seeks to recover minimum wages and overtime compensation for hundreds of workers at American Express Travel call centers across the country.
Greensboro, NC (PRWEB) November 25, 2009 -- American Express is ranked 15th Most Valuable Brand in the World by BusinessWeek. Its customer service vendor violated state and federal labor laws, according to a lawsuit filed late on Tuesday in federal court.
A telephone worker at American Express Travel Related Services Company ("American Express Travel") in Greensboro, NC, Ashley Amick alleges that he and his coworkers, who handle telephone inquiries from American Express customers regarding their credit card and investment services, were not paid for all the hours they worked and did not receive overtime pay as required by federal Fair Labor Standards Act and North Carolina state laws. The lawsuit seeks to recover minimum wages and overtime compensation for hundreds of workers at American Express Travel call centers across the country."No matter how long we worked each day, they only paid us for our scheduled shift. I spent part of each week working for free," Mr. Amick said.
According to the Complaint, call center workers frequently had to work on their lunch hours to catch up on paper-work. If a call continues into a lunch period, they are required by to continue servicing the customer's telephone call. In addition, workers were not supposed to clock in before they had started a computer and reviewed the day's technical notices and often had to continue working after their shift ended.
The Complaint alleges that American Express Travel violated the wage and hour laws by failing to pay its telephone customer service workers for time they worked before the start of their regularly scheduled shifts, time that they worked during their unpaid lunch breaks, time that they worked after the end of their regularly scheduled shifts, and failed to include all compensation in calculating the regular rate for overtime premium pay.
Attorneys Adam T. Klein and Molly A. Brooks of Outten & Golden LLP's New York office and Ilan Chorowsky of the Progressive Law Group LLC represent the call center workers and will seek certification of the case as a class action. The case could include up to 1,500 workers at American Express Travel call centers in North Carolina, Utah, Florida, and Arizona.
Attorney Ilan Chorowsky stated that the practice violates the law. "Regardless of what company representatives may have told workers, companies like American Express Travel are obligated under federal and state laws to pay workers for all the time they work, not just for their scheduled shifts," he said.
Attorney Adam T. Klein stated, "Companies should make it a top priority to ensure that its workers are being paid everything they are owed for work well done. Unfortunately, it is a common practice in call centers across the country to require workers to put in time before and after their shifts without pay. "
Attorney Molly A. Brooks added, "Call center employees more than earn their pay in a work environment that is typically highly stressful and low paying. We are investigating the overtime practices at other American Express call centers."
American Express Travel is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Express, which has billions in assets and is headquartered in New York City.
The case is "Ashley Amick v. American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc." No. 09-cv- 9780 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Current or former American Express Travel call center employees who wish to learn more about the case can contact attorneys Adam T. Klein or Molly A. Brooks at Outten & Golden LLP, (877) 468-8836; or attorney Ilan Chorowsky at Progressive Law Group LLC, (312) 787-2717.
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[Via Legal / Law]