Utah-based Call Center Pays almost $2M for Overtime Violations

Teleperformance USA, a Salt Lake City-based call center, has paid $1,978,147 in back wages to 15,862 workers for overtime violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The settlement followed a nationwide investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division in Salt Lake City.

The company, which provides over-the-telephone customer service for clients including Sprint Communications, Verizon Wireless, and Dell Computers, has branches in Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.

The overtime violations occurred primarily because employees were not compensated for all hours worked when the company failed to pay for breaks that were less than 30 minutes in length, or for time spent by employees waiting for work areas to become available even though their shifts already had started. A small percentage of the employees for whom back wages were computed were misclassified as salaried exempt under FLSA. The company cooperated fully and worked quickly and effectively to resolve all issues identified, DOL said.

"The Labor Department will not hesitate to enforce federal law to the fullest extent possible when employers do not pay their employees all of the wages to which they are entitled," said DOL Secretary Hilda L. Solis. "These workers received the back wages they earned and deserved."

FLSA requires that covered employees be paid no less than the federal minimum wage, currently $7.25 per hour, for all hours worked. It also requires that workers are paid time and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours worked over 40 in a single week and that employers maintain adequate and accurate records of employees' wages, hours, and other conditions of employment.

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