When the recession hit, it became common for companies to make the fewer employees they had work longer hours. Employees were afraid of losing their jobs if they spoke out, but with the economy’s recovery, that has changed. One company that has already faced multiple class action lawsuits for allegedly failing to pay wages is United Parcel Service (UPS). The freight company has already paid millions to a class composed of part-time supervisors and faced one lawsuit claiming more than $100 million in unpaid overtime. Now it looks like the company will have to deal with a third unpaid overtime lawsuit.
One of the letter carriers working for UPS, Jerry, claims he is working more than 10 hours a week without pay. According to Jerry, letter carriers for UPS work based on “an evaluated hour system” in which the company evaluates how much time letter carriers should take to complete their routes based on either a national or regional count of mail. All parcels and pieces of mail on a carrier’s route are counted during a 12- or 18-day period. The carrier is timed for functions performed on a daily basis and all the data collected from that is calculated into a system that evaluates the route. The evaluation determines total hours worked during a six-day workweek. Based on this evaluation, Jerry’s route is rated 8.1 hours for five days, plus a sixth day, for which he has a substitute.
Jerry says that, after the recession, UPS added to his route, but he was still expected to get everything done in a five-day workweek. Jerry claims he went from 500 customers to almost 1,000. According to his schedule, he is supposed to work from 7:30am to 3:15pm, but he said he has never finished his work in that time. Instead, he claims it is common for him to work until 6:00pm, and he knows he is not the only one at UPS putting in extra hours without pay.
Jerry says he did not complain at first, because routes would even out during the course of the week. They would work longer hours at the beginning of the week and shorter hours at the end of the week so he still ended up working a 40-hour workweek. Now he claims he’s giving UPS at least 10 hours of free work each week. Not only should he be paid for that time, but under state and federal labor laws, he should be paid one and one-half times his normal hourly rate.
Jerry says he has already tried to talk to his supervisor and HR about the disparity, but he got nowhere. They allegedly replied, “That’s just the way it is now and sorry, no overtime.”
What UPS allegedly fails to realize, if the claims are in fact true, is they are not the ones who get to determine whether an employee is paid overtime. How and when employees are paid is determined by both the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and various state laws. The FLSA requires employers to pay all hourly workers at least $7.25 per hour for the first forty hours worked each week. For any time worked after forty hours a week, employees are entitled to one and one half times their normal hourly rate. Failure to properly pay employees for overtime can end up costing UPS much more in the long run, than if they had simply followed the law in the first place. UPS denies all of the claims leveled against it and contends it did not violate the law.
The Chicago class action lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims in many industries including potential claims against UPS. We are also investigating 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 misclassifying 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 Joliet and Bollingbrook. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Kane and Cook Counties.
Our Aurora, Elgin and Naperville 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 misclassify 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 not been paid for the overtime hours that they worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Chicago class action attorneys by phone at (312) 869-4095 or through our online form.