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Wage and hour violations at cable company show systemic abuse

A federal judge in California chose to reject a $7.5 million proposed settlement due to the employer's failure to plan any reforms to its payroll practices. The case involved technicians who installed cable television, telephones, internet and security services for Comcast. Their legal complaint detailed multiple violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The plaintiffs said that they were routinely denied overtime pay although they usually worked 10-hour shifts five or six days a week. Court filings also described management that forced workers to under-report their hours and include meal breaks that they were not allowed to take. Payroll records were non-compliant as well. The lawsuit asserted that the employer intentionally hid pay rates and refused to reimburse workers for expenses.

The judge said that the claims made by the plaintiffs appeared legitimate and suggested that the employer violated wage and hour laws as a matter of normal operations. The judge described the proposed settlement as a discounted amount that offended the sensibilities of the court. A new settlement offer that included the employer's pledge to comply with employment law might be more palatable.

A person who believes that an employer is not paying overtime or following other laws could discuss the matter with an attorney. An attorney could determine if the person's job position qualifies for hourly pay and overtime. An examination of payroll records could reveal other compliance failures as well. To go forward with a wage claim, an attorney could tally the missing the pay and confront the employer with the evidence. This action could achieve a settlement for back pay. Otherwise, an attorney could pursue stronger legal actions to hold the employer accountable.

Source: HR Dive, "Judge rejects $7.5M Comcast settlement resolving 'systemic' FLSA violations", Lisa Burden, April 9, 2019

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