HUNTINGTON –- GC Services employees filed a class action lawsuit against the company, claiming it failed to pay them for overtime.

Nine former and current GC Services employees filed a putative class action lawsuit Nov. 13 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia against GC Services.

All plaintiffs say they worked at the company's call center location in Huntington where they primarily dealt with delinquent accounts. The plaintiffs receive a base pay rate and incentive pay if they meet certain requirements, such as spending at least 90 percent of their time on the phone with customers, according to the complaint.

"To meet the requirements for incentive pay, Plaintiffs are required to arrive at their work stations before their scheduled start times in order to perform a number of critical tasks," the suit states. "Those tasks include turning on and booting up their computers, starting up various programs, and logging onto various systems. Such tasks must be completed by GC Services's call center workers before their scheduled start times, so that they are ready to receive and process incoming customer service calls at their scheduled start times."

In addition to arriving to work early, GC Services workers say they must return from their 30-minute lunch break before it ends because their software automatically disconnects them from the system if it is idle for more than 25 minutes.

"To meet their 90 percent quota, Plaintiffs must log in before clocking-in at the start of their shift and must return from their meal break early to prevent their terminal from disconnecting them from the system," the complaint says.

GC Services managers also punish any employees who work overtime by writing them up and including the penalty as part of their personnel file, according to the complaint.

"Many times, call center employees have calls that continue past the end of their shift," the suit states. "To avoid disciplinary sanctions, call center employees work off-the-clock to assist customers that call in just before the end of their shift."

In their suit, the plaintiffs allege GC Services violated the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

They want the court to issue an order allowing a notice advising former and current GC Services employees of their right to participate in the action if they worked off the clock; to issue an order that the company's actions are unlawful; and to issue an order directing GC Services to reimburse Plaintiffs for unpaid overtime they spent working. They also seek liquidated damages, costs, attorney's fees and other relief the court deems just.

G. Patrick Jacobs of the Law Office of G. Patrick Jacobs in Charleston will be representing it.

U.S. District Court case number: 3:09-1242

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