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PO’d telemarketers get relief on bathroom breaks

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

A Malvern, Pa., telemarketing company will have to pay $1.75 million to 6,000 employees after a federal judge ruled the company’s policy of making employees clock out to go to the bathroom violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Progressive Business Publications operates call centers at 14 locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Ohio. Telemarketers, who start out making the minimum wage, were required to clock out for bathroom breaks. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigated and ruled the company’s break policy was a willful FLSA violation, meaning wronged employees were entitled to liquidated damages and back wages.

Note: The FLSA does not require employers to provide breaks shorter than 20 minutes, but if the employer offers them, they must be paid.

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