As technology continues to virtually eradicate the physical distances between us, more and more people are working from home, either as freelancers, or as employees for a company. The benefits of working from home are many and varied, particularly in the realm of work/life balance, but it also has the hazard of blurring the line between work and downtime. As the office has just recently moved into the home, employers and employees alike are still struggling to define that line between work time and personal time.
According to a recent class action wage and hour lawsuit against Sutherland Global Services Inc., the technology management services company allegedly violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by failing to pay its home-based customer service representatives for all the time they spent working.
The class action lawsuit was filed in spring of 2015 by two former employees of Sutherland on behalf of themselves and all other current and former home-based customer service representatives for the outsourcing company. The complaint alleges that, for every shift they work, the employees spend almost half an hour starting and shutting down company computers, applications, and servers. They were allegedly not paid for any of the time spent performing these tasks, but the complaint alleges that it all should have been compensable time. According to the wage and hour lawsuit, the time the employees spent performing these tasks provided a direct benefit to the employer because they were necessary to the employees being able to complete their work-related tasks throughout the rest of their shifts. Continue reading