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California Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Verizon for Employee Misclassification

March 21, 2011

In a recent California class action wage and hour lawsuit that our Riverside employment attorneys have been following, Verizon is being sued by a Verizon FIOS field manager, who accuses the company of employee misclassification--for allegedly refusing to pay the field managers overtime, and demanding that employees work through rest and meal periods, in an alleged effort to cut company costs.

According to the complaint, Ulysses Aburto claims that he and other field managers were told that they were salaried employees, and exempt from California overtime and other laws.

Aburto states that although he and the class of employees were field managers, they lacked the exempt requirements under California law as they did not have duties that were managerial, nor did they have authority--and should have been classified as non-exempt employees.

As our attorneys discussed in a recent Carson employment lawyer blog entry, under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and California law, job titles do not determine exemptions--an employee's exemption status depends on the specific job responsibilities. Under the FLSA, administrative exemptions cover employees whose primary duties include performing office or non-manual work that is directly related to the management with the primary responsibility of exercising discretion and independent judgment with respect to specific matters regarding the company's business.

According to Aburto, a Verizon FIOS field manager is responsible for communicating back and forth between the management and the technicians while following Verizon's procedures. Aburto stated that the field managers engage in communications and clerical activities requiring a uniformity that does not allow independent discretion and judgment in regard to any matter of significance in their jobs--making them neither "professional" or "administrative" employees who are exempt from overtime.

Verizon is being accused of engaging in employee misclassification by failing to comply with federal and California wage and hour laws, in order to allegedly cut costs for the company. The complaint accuses the company of unlawful business practices, failure to compensate employees for overtime after employees were forced to work 12 to 14 hour days, and failure to provide accurate wage statements. Aburto seeks class action status for current and former field managers who worked for the company in the four-year period before January 14, 2011.

At Howard Law, PC, our experienced team of California Labor and Employment Attorneys aggressively protect your rights to a workplace free from violations of employment and labor laws. Contact us today.

Verizon cheated workers on overtime, breaks, class action says, Westlaw/Reuters Legal, February 24, 2011

DOL's Fairpay Overtime Initiative, The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL): Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Fact Sheet #17A: Exemption for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Computer & Outside Sales Employees Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL): Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Elaws: Fair Labor Standards Act Advisor, The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL): Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Related Blog Posts:

Employee Misclassification Lawsuit Brings Overtime Compensation to Tractor Operators, California Employment Lawyers Blog, March 14, 2011

Metallica Drummer Sued for Wage and Hour Violations and Employee Misclassification, California Employment Lawyers Blog, February 23, 2011