Several call center representatives of Farmers Insurance Group, 21st Century Insurance Co. and AIG Insurance Services, Inc. have filed a lawsuit in California alleging the insurers failed to pay them earned wages and overtime compensation. The lawsuit alleges that call center representatives engage in preparatory activities, as well as related work activities, during breaks and at the end of the work day. Courts have recognized that preparatory work duties “that are integral and indispensible to the principal work activity” are compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
According to the Complaint, the Defendants’ policies require the customer service representatives to be ready to answer a call at the beginning of their scheduled shift. However, a number of critical tasks must be performed before a representative is ready to answer a call. Plaintiffs contend they should be entitled to compensation for the time they spend working pre-shift, post shift and over unpaid meal breaks.
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