Court Orders Conditional Class Certification in Southwestern Bell Overtime Lawsuit

In May 2012, former employees of Southwestern Bell Yellow Pages, Inc. obtained conditional class certification in their suit against the company for unpaid overtime wages. The employees previously filed a class action lawsuit against their former employer alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and Missouri law due to a failure to pay for work performed "off-the-clock." The Plaintiffs worked as telephone sales representatives for the company at two call centers in St. Louis, Missouri. The employees allege that they were required to perform """"off-the-clock"""" work for which they were not compensated. More specifically, the employees were required to log into their systems before the beginning of their scheduled shifts and could not log out until after the end of their scheduled shifts. They allege that they were not compensated for this work performed outside of their shifts, resulting in unpaid overtime. The employees filed this suit on behalf of themselves and as a class and collection action on behalf of other similarly situated employees. According to a Fact Sheet issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, a call center failing to pay for off-the-clock work is a common wage violation committed by call centers across the country.

The Honorable Carol E. Jackson, with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, issued an Order granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Conditional Certification. The Judge ordered a deadline of June 5, 2012 for Defendants to provide Plaintiffs with a list of all persons (and their contact information) who performed work for the company as a telephone sales representative. Once the company produces the list of class members, then class members will be contacted and provided with the class notice and consent form, and they will have a designated period of time to opt-in to the lawsuit and assert a claim for unpaid overtime.

If you work at a call center or other place of employment where you are allowed or required to engage in work ""off-the-clock,"" or if you believe your wage rights are otherwise being violated, you should contact a Missouri overtime lawyer.