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U.S. Labor Department Forces CenturyLink to Pay Over $140,000 in Back Wages and Overtime

August 20, 2010

According to a recent news story that our Carson employment attorneys have been interested in, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has investigated CenturyLink, a communications company that operates locations in 33 states nationwide, including California, for wage and hour violations.

The initial investigation by the DOL reportedly began in Florida, focusing on employees at a subsidiary company of CenturyLink, and then expanded to include employees from locations nationwide that include California, Colorado, Idaho, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Ohio, and Oklahoma, among other states.

The DOL claims that over a period of ten months, commissions for inside salespeople were not included in the payment, when adding up the wages that employees earned after working more than a 40-hour week.

As our Irvine employment attorneys have reported in a previous blog, the Fair Labor Standards Act states that it is mandatory for employees to receive overtime pay for any hours worked over a 40-hour work week at rates that are no less than one and one-half their regular pay rates. Premium pay must be calculated using both salary and commissions. According to the DOL, the FLSA provides an exemption for overtime and minimum wage payment if the individual is employed in the capacity of an outside salesman, whereas inside salespeople do not have the same exemption.

CenturyLink is required to compensate 1,434 sales workers who were owed a total of $144,593 in back wages and additional overtime payment. A spokesperson for CenturyLink claimed that the workers entitled to overtime payment were all Embarq Corporation employees who became part of CenturyLink when Embarq was acquired last year. The errors were reportedly due to the conversion of the payroll from one company to another.

If you or someone you know in Southern California has experienced a wage and hour issue in the workplace, our team of experienced California employment attorneys and professionals can help. Contact Howard Law, PC today, for a free consultation.

CenturyLink to Pay $144,593 in Back Wages, Orlando Business Journal, August 11, 2010

CenturyLink Required to Pay $144,593 in Back Wages, LaCrosseTribune.com, August 12, 2010

Labor Department Recovers More than $144,000 in Back Wages, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Public Affairs/WCTV.com, August 11, 2010

Related Web Resources:

Department of Labor (DOL): Wage and Hour Division (WHD)