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AT&T accused of violating employees' rights

Many readers around Detroit use AT&T as their mobile phone carrier, so they might be interested to learn that a judge in Atlanta recently certified a class action suit against the telecom giant.

The case revolves around overtime pay for certain AT&T employees. Proper wages and compensation is a big source of friction in employment law. Here, "first level" AT&T managers who supervise field workers claim they did not receive overtime pay even when their workweek was 60 hours or more. Allegedly, the field workers these managers supervise do get overtime pay and so sometimes made more than their managers.

The suit concerns AT&T employees in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, Alabama and Kentucky. There are also lawsuits in California and Connecticut, where plaintiffs are alleging AT&T violated the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state laws by incorrectly categorizing managers as ineligible for overtime pay.

As of yet, no Michigan employees are involved in either situation, although it is possible they could become involved at a later date.

An AT&T spokesman would make no comment to a reporter other than to say that the company follows all federal and state wage and hour laws.

As you can see, even large companies sometimes run afoul of laws meant to benefit and protect employees. This means many people's rights are at risk for employment law violations. If you are in a situation that you think might run afoul of state or federal employment laws, you may want to locate an attorney who practices in this field and discuss the matter with him or her. Such an attorney can provide you with information and insight on your particular circumstances.

Source: The Charlotte Business Journal, "Judge certifies class in AT&T suit," Aug. 17, 2011.

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