In a large class action suit that incorporates members from all over the country, a wage violation complaint has been filed again megacorporation, CVS. The lawsuit alleges that call center employees who communicate with CVS’s pharmaceutical benefit clients were denied proper regular and overtime wages for work performed prior to being allowed to “clock in.” The call center staff was required to complete preparatory and necessary duties in order to receive calls from CVS clients, and this work routinely put employees over a forty-hour workweek. As hourly nonexempt employees, any overtime work should be paid at a time-and-a-half rate, according to the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The class action suit was filed by Texas resident Susan Siegel who worked as a CVS call center representative from March 1996 to August 2014 in San Antonio. Siegel alleges that she regularly worked more than forty hours per week and was not paid the requisite overtime wage. The suit asserts that CVS call center employees were required to perform various tasks prior to signing on to the phone system, and thus being “clocked in.” Some of the tasks for which they were not compensated include powering up the electronic equipment, booting the necessary computer programs and logging in to them, initializing and accessing customer interfaces and portal systems, and checking alerts and emails directly related to their job. The plaintiff claims the wages that went unpaid for these duties adds up to thousands of dollars per year, per employee, in both regular and overtime compensation. The suit faults CVS for instituting this system that underpays its employees despite earning millions or even billions of dollars, based on the call center employees’ hard work.
The class action suit stretches to CVS employees in several states throughout the U.S., and it alleges that the corporation willingly and knowingly carried out the wage violations with reckless disregard. The suit also asserts that CVS has made no subsequent effort to repay call center staff for substantial work from which the company directly benefits. This is in spite of being aware of the time employees spent working before and after their phone calls, while not “clocked in,” and not getting paid.
We will update this lawsuit in early 2016.