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AT&T technicians file lawsuit over lunch policy

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Eleven AT&T technicians have filed a federal lawsuit seeking class-action status to collect unpaid wages and overtime, alleging the company compels them to work during unpaid lunch breaks.

The suit seeks to represent 1,300 AT&T technicians in Indiana.

The suit filed Aug. 10 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana also alleges technicians face discipline if they drive their GPS-monitored company vehicles more than a half-mile from their routes to take a break.

“The company’s productivity-based performance ranking system puts the technicians under significant pressure to work through the unpaid lunch breaks in order to complete as many jobs as possible in each work shift,” alleges the suit.

These include technicians who install AT&T’s U-verse service, a collection of Internet, phone and television offerings.

The technicians allege that by not paying for time allocated “to the technicians’ so-called meal breaks, AT&T Midwest has failed to pay the technicians’ time-and-half-for all such hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a single work week.”

The complaint alleges violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and violations of Indiana’s wage and record-keeping laws.

Technicians seek time-and-a-half pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours a week and damages, but do not specify a dollar amount.

AT&T has to yet to file a formal response to the complaint.

Company spokesman Marty Richter said:  “AT&T is committed to full compliance with all federal and state laws, including the wage and hour laws, and has received numerous awards for being an employer of choice.”

Plaintiffs are Deborah Sturgeon, Sara Gail Mercer, Michelle Ballard, Angie Nelson, John Stewart Jr., Rickey Hays, Levi Haynes, Jason Hampton, Jonathan Julian, Victor Sparks and Tamika Liebhart.

The suit also contends that under rules “designed and enforced to preserve the company’s public image” that employees on unpaid lunch break may not use personal laptops or read books or newspapers while in an AT&T vehicle.

Restrictions on movement or activity during breaks “substantially” interfere with the technicians’ ability to use the unpaid lunch break for eating lunch or other personal business, the complaint states.

It also alleges employees while on unpaid break may not use the vehicle’s air conditioning or heating, regardless of the weather.

Plaintiffs are represented by Indianapolis attorney Kimberly Jeselskis.

 

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  1. Indianapolis employers harassment among minorities AFRICAN Americans needs to be discussed the metro Indianapolis area is horrible when it comes to harassing African American employees especially in the local healthcare facilities. Racially profiling in the workplace is an major issue. Please make it better because I'm many civil rights leaders would come here and justify that Indiana is a state the WORKS only applies to Caucasian Americans especially in Hamilton county. Indiana targets African Americans in the workplace so when governor pence is trying to convince people to vote for him this would be awesome publicity for the Presidency Elections.

  2. Wishing Mary Willis only God's best, and superhuman strength, as she attempts to right a ship that too often strays far off course. May she never suffer this personal affect, as some do who attempt to change a broken system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QojajMsd2nE

  3. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  4. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  5. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

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