Granite Telecommunications – Overtime Pay Collective Action Filed
On December 18, 2017, an overtime pay collective action was filed in United States District Court, Southern District of Florida, West Palm Beach Division, against Granite Telecommunications, LLC for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).
Granite Telecommunications Inside Sales Representatives Allegedly Not Paid for Overtime Hours Worked or Not Paid a Premium for All Overtime Hours Worked
The overtime pay collective action lawsuit was brought on behalf of current and former employees of Granite Telecommunications employed “. . . as Inside Sales Representatives working under the titles of Account Manager, Regional Account Manager, Sr. Account Manager, Industry Account Manager, National Account Manager, Sales Executive, or any other title used to describe the position of an inside sales representative selling to businesses.” [Emphasis added]
According to the overtime pay lawsuit complaint, Plaintiffs and others similarly situated began employment as an Inside Sales Representative under the title of Regional Account Manager. When promoted, Inside Sales Representatives were given, in order, the following titles: Sr. Account Manager, Industry Account Manager, National Account Manager, and Enterprise Account Manager. The complaint alleged that
[a]ll such titles were used to describe the exact same sales position, but each new title just brought the sales rep higher commission and base pay. Some reps as well may have been labeled as “Regional Sales Executive”, or titles or variations of these titles all used to describe an inside sales representative position, whose primary function was to sell the Defendant’s telecommunications and data services on a non-retail basis to businesses, professionals[,] and commercial enterprises. The Plaintiffs and the classes of similarly situated inside sales representatives were not compensated for overtime hours worked or paid a premium for all their overtime hours worked, and even when paid, were willfully and intentionally underpaid for all such hours. [Emphasis added].
Granite Telecommunications Inside Sales Reps Misclassified & Improperly Paid
According to the Granite Telecommunications overtime pay collective action complaint:
Although the inside sales representatives working for [Granite Telecommunications] were informed they were “salaried”, it is unknown how [Granite Telecommunications] on paper or internally classified them. The reality is that prior to February 2017, [Granite Telecommunications] treated all inside sales representatives in all of its offices as exempt employees, not tracking their work hours and not paying them a premium for overtime hours they knew its employees were working. Thus, this case may be properly asserted as a case of [m]isclassification prior to February 2017, and after February 2017, a case of just willful underpayment and failure to pay. [Emphasis added]
[Granite Telecommunications] has improperly and willfully withheld and refused to pay Plaintiffs and all insides sales representatives overtime wages (a premium compensation) for all overtime hours worked over 40 in a work week at the correct lawful rates. [Emphasis added]
[Granite Telecommunications] knew or should have known that these inside sales representatives fail the short test for the executive exemption since they do not supervise two or more full time employees, and their primary job duties are non-exempt sales duties and not management. Inside sales representatives are on the production side of the business.
[Granite Telecommunications] knew or should have known that all of its inside sales representatives do not meet the administrative exemption, as their primary job duty does not . . . involve the use of discretion and independent judgment in matters of significance affecting the company and its management; and that their primary job duty is production and sales, typically non-exempt under the FLSA.
[Granite Telecommunications] knew or should have known that the inside sales representatives are clearly not outside sales representatives, and do not meet the . . . exemption as well, clearly not selling retail or retail services and are selling to businesses.
[Granite Telecommunications] absolutely and unquestionably knew that their inside sales representatives were routinely working overtime hours, as managers and supervisor witnessed the extra hours, encouraged and even pressured sales reps to work as many hours as possible to hit quotas and meet goals.
Management never asked employees to leave after the shift ended, stopped them from working earlier, or warned or discipline[d] employees working when they knew or should have known the . . . employees reached 40 hours in the work week.
[Granite Telecommunications] encouraged and [pressured] all inside sales representatives to work overtime hours in order to meet goals and quotas and to maximize sales.
[Granite Telecommunications] also warned Plaintiffs and all other inside sales representatives against leaving at the end of the pre-set scheduled shift time as detrimental to their positions and future employment.
[Granite Telecommunications] has willfully failed to pay Plaintiffs and all similarly situated employees in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Specifically, Plaintiffs and similarly situated employees were not paid time and a half of their regular rate pay for all hours worked in excess of forty (40) hours per week, including the commissions in the calculation of the regular rate and overtime rates. Plaintiffs and the class of similarly situated employees did not in the past, and currently do not perform work that meets the definition of any exemption under the FLSA, and the Defendant’s pay practice and scheme to violate the FLSA are . . . clearly unlawful . . .. [Emphasis added]
Granite Telecommunications Inside Sales Representatives
The Granite Telecommunications overtime pay lawsuit was brought on behalf of individuals who have been employed by Granite Telecommunications, LLC from February 2017 to the present, or in the past three years through February 2017, anywhere in the United States, as an Inside Sales Representative with the title of Regional Account Manager, Senior Account Manager, Industry Account Manager, National Account Manager, Enterprise Account Manager, Regional or National Sales Executive, National Sales Executive, Consultant, Territory Manager, or any other job title used to describe persons whose primary job duty was inside sales to businesses.