Call Center Employees to Receive $1.7M in Unpaid OT Settlement

Call center employees of Nelnet, a student loan servicer, have just resolved claims of unpaid wages. Nelnet allegedly failed to pay its call center workers the proper overtime wages when working over 40 hours in a work week. The collective action settled for nearly $1.7 million which will benefit 336 current and former call center employees of Nelnet under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).

A Colorado federal judge gave final approval this past week ending the lawsuit that was originally brought back in 2017. The lawsuit specifically alleged that Nelnet violated the FLSA and Colorado state law by failing to pay its call center employees at a premium rate when working overtime. Employees claimed that Nelnet failed to accurately track or record their hours worked and allowed people to work before they clocked in. All in, call center employees spent a significant amount of time starting up their computers and launching necessary programs before they were able to enter the company’s timekeeping system. The courts ultimately ruled that pre-shift tasks were “integral and indispensable” to call center employees’ jobs, and that although the time spent on it was small, they did in fact add up. 

It is not uncommon for employees to spend significant amount of time starting up and shutting down work stations as well as necessary programs in order to complete their daily job functions. Oftentimes, companies do not pay their employees for this time, however, under federal and state labor laws, this time should be compensable. If you work in the call center industry or have experienced similar issues in your place of work, do not hesitate to call us for a free and confidential phone consultation. You can reach our employment law firm, Fitapelli & Schafffer, LLP, at (212) 300-0375. You can also visit our website here for additional information regarding your rights.