A federal judge in Santa Ana has given the green light for a lawsuit against the sheriff's department to be certified class action status. The lawsuit claims that the sheriff's department did not pay deputies who ranked below sergeant for time spent on mandatory activities that did not occur during regular work hours. Such activities included attending briefings and court hearings. The deputies also argue that they were required to work overtime without being compensated.
IBM Corporation settled a class action lawsuit in November after being accused of illegally withholding overtime pay. The suit argued that employees of IBM were forced to work over 40 hours a week and on weekends without any extra pay to cover the additional time spent working. IBM had argued that that the workers, who were classified as "technical services professional and information technology specialists," were exempt from overtime regulations. This is because high-level computer operators are not eligible for overtime premiums and IBM considered those workers high-level computer operators.
However, the plaintiffs argued that they were not in decision-making positions that other people who are not paid overtime are generally in, and instead followed company instructions and procedures. According to their lawsuit, the employees were primarily responsible for installing, maintaining, and supporting computer software and hardware for IBM and its customers.
The suit was filed in San Francisco and was settled with an agreement for IBM to pay 32,000 technology workers $65 million.
Another technology company also agreed to a settlement in California. Siebel Systems Inc. agreed to pay up to $27.5 million dollars after approximately 800 software engineers claimed they were denied overtime pay that they were eligible to receive. The plaintiffs in this case also argued that they were misclassified as being exempt from overtime wages. The settlement covers employees at Siebel from January 16, 2000 through February 28, 2006.
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Sometimes employers accidentally violate the FLSA. However, regardless of whether the violation is accidental or deliberate, employees still deserve to be paid for their overtime and off the clock work. If you feel you have been unfairly denied overtime or off the clock pay, contact a lawyer to discuss your options.