Violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a serious offense – no matter how large or small the perpetrating company. General Motors (GM) has been in hot water with consumers for some time, but now a group of customer service representatives have come forward in Michigan federal court to accuse the automaker of demanding the employees work up to 30 minutes of compensable time per shift off the clock.
Plaintiffs and customer service representatives Jovena Hudson and Jawanda Hill claim that GM requires the employees to load and log in to several computer programs and applications prior to clocking in for their shifts. The same issue presents itself as the workers clock in and out for their lunch break and to leave for the day. Considering that the process may take five to 15 minutes per day, or longer if a technical error occurs, the unpaid compensation adds up quickly.
The complaint alleges that failure to compensate employees for pre- and post- shift activities, such as starting up computers and programs, is specifically condemned by the U.S. Department of Labor considering how it is often out of the employee’s control how long the process can take.
The Plaintiffs claim the following in their complaint against GM:
Defendants knew or could have easily determined how long it took for the [customer service representatives] working at the General Motors Technical Center to complete the pre-shift start-up/log-in process, the post-shift computer log-out process, and the lunch break work duties, and defendants could have properly compensated plaintiffs and the class for the work that they performed, but did not.
In order to resolve the representatives’ claim, the suit asks that the court declare the Defendant’s actions to be unlawful and enter judgement requiring they pay the Plaintiffs damages and liquidated damages.
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