A class-action lawsuit was recently filed in Northern California against AT&T, which claims the phone company violated the rights of its at-home virtual call employees.
The plaintiffs claim the company violated the California Labor Code by mislabeling these employees as independent contractors to avoid paying them worker's compensation costs along with state and federal taxes. The employees had been hired by the company to serve as call center workers that provide billing and technical support for its customers.
By mislabeling the workers, AT&T effectively skirted California's labor laws, which require minimum wage rules, lunch breaks and overtime regulations. Independent contractors are not covered under the state's laws.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege AT&T mislabeled them because they would then have to work subject to the company's control. The plaintiffs are seeking an undisclosed amount of money.
The case highlights the importance of companies following proper and legal employment practices, especially in accordance with the use of contractors. Violating these rules can produce expensive legal fees associated with professional liability lawsuits.