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By Matthew Santoni
Law360 (February 12, 2021, 6:02 PM EST) -- Call center employees for shop-at-home network QVC claimed the company shorted them pay for time spent logging in and out at the beginning and end of their shifts, according to a proposed class and collective action lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania federal
Lanitra Adams, seeking to represent other QVC call center and remote work employees, claimed in her lawsuit that workers often spent 10 to 20 minutes before their shifts getting connected and logged in to various computer, software and phone systems they needed for work, and another 10 to
15 minutes at the end of each shift logging out.
"Defendant arbitrarily failed to count this work performed by plaintiff and other similarly situated employees as 'hours worked,'" the complaint said. "Plaintiff and other similarly situated employees performed this unpaid work every workday, and it constituted a part of their fixed and regular
The suit seeks to make West Chester, Pennsylvania-based QVC pay workers for the time logging in and out, including overtime wages for when the process pushed them past working 40 hours per week, which allegedly violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and the Pennsylvania Minimum
Adams said she worked at a QVC call center in Chesapeake, Virginia, from June 2019 through March 2020, where she and others were paid hourly and were not exempt from overtime pay.
Each day, Adams said, workers had to start up their computers, log in and get set up with the telephone systems they would be using, but the clock did not start on their paid time until they were logged in and ready to field calls.
QVC did not pay for the time getting started on each shift, but that work was part of the employees' daily routine and they could not do the paid part of their jobs without it, the lawsuit said.
"This unpaid work is an integral and indispensable part of other principal activities performed by plaintiff and other similarly situated employees," the complaint said. "They cannot perform their work without bringing up defendant's computer systems, applications and phone system."
Likewise, workers had to back out of the same systems at the end of each shift, after they had clocked out, the suit said.
With each workday requiring between 20 to 35 minutes of extra time, the unpaid work likely pushed some employees past 40 hours of work per week to where the company should have been paying them an overtime premium, Adams said.
QVC had the capability to track how much time was spent doing those duties on either end of the shift, but did not keep such records, the complaint said.
Adams seeks to represent a nationwide, opt-in collective of current and former QVC workers seeking unpaid wages and overtime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, and a class of Pennsylvania QVC employees under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act. The suit seeks to make QVC cover the unpaid wages, plus any statutory liquidated damages and attorney fees.
Counsel for the proposed class did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday. Representatives for QVC declined to comment.
Adams and the proposed class are represented by Gary F. Lynch and Edward W. Ciolko of Carlson Lynch LLP, Anthony J. Lazzaro and Chastity L. Christy of The Lazzaro Law Firm LLC and Michael Fradin of Fradin Law.
Counsel information for QVC was not immediately available Friday.
The case is Adams v. QVC Inc., case number 2:21-cv-00646, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
--Editing by Stephen Berg.
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