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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. Hello currently just withdrew from laporte county drug court and now I have lost the woman I love which also was in drugcourt and was put in jail without a,lawyer presentfor her own safety according to the judge and they told her she could have a hearing in two weeks and now going on 30days and still in jail no court date and her public defender talks like he,s bout to just sell her up the river.

  2. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  3. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  4. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  5. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

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