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Verizon Overtime Lawsuit, Over and Over Again

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Yet another Verizon overtime lawsuit, this time affecting more than 500 California workers, has received preliminary approval.

Los Angeles, CAVerizon Connect Inc. and over 500 employees who claimed they were denied overtime, meal and rest breaks and expense reimbursements – violations of California and federal wage laws – have received preliminary approval in a $1.6 million settlement to their California labor wage and hour class action lawsuit.

Santillan v. Verizon Connect Inc. et al.

On January 30, 2023, the parties mediated the case and came to a settlement between Verizon Connect Inc. and hundreds of current and former employees. In mid-June, U.S. District Judge Marilyn L. Huff granted preliminary approval, ruling that the settlement represented an acceptable resolution to the dispute. The class would receive about half of their expected damages and class members can expect payouts averaging $1,800. To be precise, 537 members will split more than $977,000 between them on a pro-rata basis, with individual payouts calculated according to the 61,652 work weeks since May 2017. As well, $25,000 would be split among workers who opt into a Fair Labor Standards Act collective dating to 2018, according to the judge and reported by Law360.

The settlement class applies to “all persons employed by Verizon Connect in California as nonexempt employees from May 19, 2017 through the earlier of the Preliminary Approval Date or April 30, 2023.” The settlement agreement defines covered FLSA Workweeks as “reflected on Verizon Connect’s internal records, all workweeks from May 19, 2018 through the earlier of the Preliminary Approval Date or April 30, 2023, in which an FLSA member worked for Verizon Connect as a non-exempt employee in California, excluding any workweeks previously released by an FLSA Member.

The complaint was first filed in May 2021 by Antonio Hiram Santillan, who alleged that Verizon Connect (a Verizon subsidiary) failed to include nondiscretionary bonuses into its calculation of workers' overtime rates and failed to either provide or compensate workers for mandatory meal breaks. He worked as a salaried, non-exempt Verizon employee from January 2020 to December 2020.  Santillan filed a putative class action in San Diego County Superior Court alleging that Verizon:
  • Failed to pay wages and penalties owed
  • Failed to provide legally mandated breaks
  • Failed to reimburse employee expenses

Specifically, Santillan claims:
  • failure to pay overtime wages at the legal overtime pay rate
  • failure to provide all meal periods
  • failure to pay all wages
  • failure to reimburse business expenses
  • failure to timely furnish accurate itemized wage statements
  • unfair business practices

The lawsuit is Santillan v. Verizon Connect Inc. et al., case number 3:21-cv-01257, in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of California.

Overtime, Over Again

Here are just a few more overtime complaints lodged against Verizon – there have been more overtime lawsuits filed within the past 10 years or so…

Ramirez et al. v. Verizon Connect Fleet USA

Verizon Connect Fleet USA and Verizon Connect, Inc. were slammed with a complaint alleging the companies have “willfully” failed to track employee hours and pay proper overtime wages to certain workers. Jose Ramirez and Jimmy Pizzaro filed the collective action in the U.S. District Court of Georgia in January 2023 claiming defendants failed to pay overtime wages to all Inside Sales Reps (ISRs) working under various job titles, some created and others created by the company, according to court documents.  Plaintiffs claim the companies pressured ISRs to hit performance goals and quotas or face disciplinary action, including the possibility of termination, and bullied their employees into not reporting accurate overtime hours.

“The Defendants intentionally created a work environment and culture that was oppressive, [and] laced with fear and intimidation against reporting overtime hours and complaining about not being paid for all overtime hours, as doing so would draw the ire and scrutiny of management,” states the lawsuit.

The complaing is Ramirez et al. v. Verizon Connect Fleet USA, LLC et al. 1:23-CV-00343-MLB.

Bates et al. v. Verizon Connect Fleet USA LLC et al.

In November 2021, A class action filed in North Carolina claimed Verizon Connect required inside sales reps to work significant amounts of hours off the clock and without being properly paid. Specifically, “defendants Verizon Connect Fleet USA LLC and Verizon Connect Inc. have typically paid workers for only 40 hours per week no matter how much time they actually put in, and deducted an hour of pay each day for a lunch break despite being aware that employees often worked off the clock and through their scheduled breaks.”

Fletcher v. Verizon Communications Inc. et al.

Back in 2011, Verizon Enterprise Delivery LLC agreed to pay $750,000 to resolve a California class action claiming its on-call policy deprived installation and maintenance workers of proper compensation for overtime work and missed meal breaks. Technical specialist Brent Fletcher filed a complaint in 2009, accusing Verizon of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act and California labor law by not having a policy in place to correctly compensate its employees for all of their on-call hours. The case is Fletcher v. Verizon Communications Inc. et al., case number 3:09-cv-01736, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.


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