A class action filed in New York federal court on Tuesday accused national cable provider Mediacom Communications Corporation of short-changing customer service representatives on time spent on necessary pre-shift duties. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Iowa wage law complaint argues that the Department of Labor expressly recognizes call center employees’ necessary “boot-up” activities as remunerative, yet Mediacom knowingly failed to pay up.
The complaint, filed by an Iowa-based employee who worked for Mediacom at one of its several customer service call center locations, explained that her work as an hourly rep included fielding calls from Mediacom’s commercial and residential customers. On the phone, her primary duties were to retain customers, troubleshoot, and resolve customer issues and billing inquiries.
Prior to answering calls, the plaintiff said that she engaged in boot-up activities like starting up her computer to download work instructions, computer applications, and work-related emails. However, the customer service rep complained that she was never paid for these activities, regardless of whether she worked overtime in a given week.
In addition, the plaintiff faulted Mediacom for failing to keep timesheet and payroll records for this time worked off-the-clock in violation of the FLSA and Iowa wage and hour laws.
The plaintiff estimated that the nationwide FLSA class, including both current and former call center employees who worked for Mediacom in the last two years, will include several hundred members. The lawsuit requested a declaration that the plaintiff’s rights and the rights of the FLSA class were violated as well as an award of unpaid wages and overtime premiums.