Between state and federal laws governing different parts of the United States and different laws taking precedence in different places, keeping it all straight can be hard enough for natives of the country, much less those who immigrate from other parts of the world.
According to a recent class action wage and hour lawsuit, Wipro, an IT service and consulting company, allegedly took advantage of foreigners who it is claimed were unfamiliar with U.S. labor law.
The lawsuit was filed by Suri Payala in Los Angeles. Payala is a citizen of India who came to work in the U.S. using an L-1B visa, which classifies a foreign worker as qualified with specialized knowledge and allows the employee to work in the U.S. for up to five years.
Payala worked for Wipro as a computer technician beginning in 2014. According to the lawsuit, Wipro allegedly hired many workers from outside the U.S. using L-1B visas, and allegedly took advantage of their lack of familiarity with U.S. law to allegedly cheat them out of overtime wages.
The lawsuit alleges Payala was illegally classified as exempt from overtime, along with other employees who provided computer support, troubleshooting, and technical repair services.
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines overtime as any time spent working after eight hours a day or forty hours a week. It also sets overtime compensation at one and one-half times the employee’s normal hourly rate. Although the FLSA governs all employees working in the U.S., each state also has their own labor laws regarding overtime. The law with the strictest requirements takes precedence.
The law specifically states it protects all employees working within the U.S., regardless of their citizenship status.
California labor law states that computer and technological support employees can be considered exempt from overtime only if they make an annual salary of $84,130.
Payala alleges he was paid less than the required salary and that Wipro outsourced him to DirecTV without paying him overtime or travel time to DirecTV’s job site.
California labor law also requires employers to pay workers all wages earned within 72 hours of termination of employment. If a worker provides notice of termination 72 hours or more ahead of time, then all wages are due upon termination. According to the wage and hour class action lawsuit, Wipro allegedly failed to properly pay all its employees in a timely manner after their employment with the company had ended.
As a result of the alleged wage and hour violations, the class action lawsuit further alleges Wipro conducted unfair business practices. By allegedly making employees work overtime without paying them for that extra time, Wipro allegedly benefited by being able to take that extra money as profit or invest it back into the company. As a result, the lawsuit is also alleging the company violated California’s Unfair Competition Act.
The class action lawsuit has not yet been certified. Payala is currently looking to represent himself and all other similarly situated employees who were hired by Wipro and subjected to the same wage and hour violations. Winpro denies all of the claims.
The Chicago class action lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims by waiters and bus boys and other restaurant and hotel workers against national restaurant chains including Hilton, W, Marriott, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Best Western, Chipotle, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Outback Steak House, Taco Bell, Burger King, Wendy’s and hotels for mis-classifying employees as managers or assistant managers, forcing employees to work off the clock at business, failing to share all tips, erasing or altering time sheets or time records, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim these wage theft practices call us at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.
The Chicago class action attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have three decades of experience fighting to help employees who are victims of wage, overtime and tip theft by their employers. We have a team of Chicago unpaid overtime lawyers who concentrate on prosecuting state and nationwide class action lawsuits. Our attorneys work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and pursue claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Schaumburg and Palos Hills. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Kane and Cook Counties.
Our Mundelein and North Chicago overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers mis-classify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.
The Chicago Overtime Law Center is based in Chicago, and represents clients throughout the country who have unpaid overtime and other employment right claims.