T-Mobile: The firm is currently investigating the pay practices of T-Mobile at its call centers around the country. T-Mobile operates approximately 17 call centers in various states around the United States. Most call center employees are compensated based on an hourly wage. Employees whose performance meets or exceeds certain targets established by T-Mobile are eligible for bonuses. Bonuses are paid monthly and take the form of an add on to the employee’s regular hourly rate. For example, an employee may qualify for a bonus of an additional $2.00 per hour. Depending on performance, the bonuses may amount to more than $10.00 per hour. T-Mobile pays the bonuses on what it considers to be “productive” time, which does not include all of an employee’s working time. Under T-Mobile’s bonus program it is instead obligated to pay the bonuses on employees’ total working time, with the result that call center employees throughout the country who qualify for bonuses have been underpaid.
T-Mobile has also underpaid employees who work overtime. The overtime laws require that non-discretionary bonuses, like the monthly bonuses paid to T-Mobile call center employees, be included in the base pay of employees when determining the proper rate for overtime work. The law requires employers to pay employees one and one-half times their “regular rate” for all hours worked over 40 per week. By failing to include bonuses in the regular rate, T-Mobile has underpaid those employees who work overtime.
The law provides redress for unpaid bonuses and overtime. In addition to the right to recover the unpaid bonuses, unpaid overtime and interest on those sums, in some cases the amount of overtime will be doubled or, in some cases, even tripled. If T-Mobile’s failure to properly pay bonuses was intentional or in reckless disregard of the rights of its employees, it may also be liable for punitive damages.
If you have any information on T-Mobile’s call center bonus or overtime pay practices, or would like more information on our investigation, please contact Chris Moody ([email protected]) or Chelsea Buldain ([email protected]) or call us at 505-944-0033.
Tri-State CareFlight Overtime Litigation: State and federal laws exist to ensure that most employees receive time and one-half their regular rate of pay if they are required to work more than 40 hours per week. Unfortunately, many employees fail to pay the required overtime to their employees. the result is that too many employees are required to work very hard, but are denied all of the pay to which they are legally entitled.
Moody & Stanford has been active in pursuing overtime claims on behalf of employees who have been wrongfully denied overtime pay. Many overtime claims are for a few thousand dollars each, making them uneconomic to pursue on an individual basis. However, Moody & Stanford frequently pursues employers in a class or collective action, where a few employees may represent a class of tens, hundreds or even thousands of employees.
Moody & Stanford is currently pursuing overtime claims on behalf of New Mexico employees of Tri-State CareFlight, LLC, an air ambulance company. The case Bell, et al. v. Tri-State CareFlight, LLC, et al. is pending in the US District Court for the District of New Mexico. The allegations are that Tri-State violated New Mexico overtime laws by (1) paying Flight Nurses and Flight Paramedics for overtime only for hours in excess of 96 in a two-week pay period rather than hours over 40 per week; and (2) requiring Pilots to work either 7 12-hour shifts followed by 7 days off or 14 12-hour shifts followed by 14 days off without paying overtime. The Pilots also claim that they were sometimes required to work more than 12 hours per shift without receiving any additional compensation. Flight Nurses and Flight Paramedics usually work 24-hour shifts and frequently work 2 or more shifts in a week. You can review the allegations in the Second Amended Complaint by clicking here.
In November 2018 we moved to have the Court certify the case as a class action. We asked the Court to certify a class of all flight crew members employed from mid-June 2009 through mid-January 2016 when Tri-State was acquired by another company and its pay practices changed. You can review the motion for class certification by clicking here. On January 24, 2019 the Court held a hearing on the motion and indicated that it is inclined the grant the motion. We await the Court’s formal ruling. Once the Court issues its certification order, a notice of pendency of class action will be sent out to the approximately 300 class members. Discovery will then be taken on issues of liability and damages and the Court will set a trial date for final resolution of the claims unless the case settles earlier.
Air Methods Corp. Overtime Litigation: Moody & Stanford is currently investigating a possible overtime case against air ambulance operator Air Methods Corp. Air Methods pays Flight Nurses and Flight Paramedics an hourly rate for all hours of their 24-hour shifts, but designates 8 hours of that shift as “sleep time.” So long as an employee is able to enjoy at least 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep during the shift Air Methods excludes the sleep time from overtime calculations. In other words, employees are paid for their sleep time but it does not count toward overtime even though employees are required to stay on the base and be ready to fly on 10 minutes notice. Employees are also required to travel to perform work including training or company publicity an education affairs either without compensation or in some cases with compensation but without counting the hours toward overtime.
We believe these pay practices violate the overtime laws of various states, including New Mexico, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan and North Carolina. We are investigating these pay practices and intend to bring a class action lawsuit against Air Methods and its various operating companies on behalf of employees in some or all of those states.