A Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) class action against financial media giant Bloomberg settled this week for a total of $3.2 million, allowing its employees that did not receive overtime pay in the past to receive due compensation. Common protocol within the FLSA allows employees working in excess of 40 hours a week to earn time-and-a-half.
According to plaintiff Shervez Jackson, a Bloomberg employee from 2008 until 2010 working in customer service, the company typically required her to work 10 additional hours than what she was being compensated for. The complaint alleged Bloomberg also expected Jackson to arrive at work early, work through her scheduled lunch hour, and beyond when she was supposed to leave. She said the company even asked her to handle jobs and study for work-related tasks from home.
Upon learning of Jackson’s lawsuit, Bloomberg denied having allowed Jackson to work excess hours. The media giant added that even if it did slip and let her work more than 40 hours per week, Jackson would still not be eligible for overtime through federal or state FLSA labor laws because she was a salaried employee.
Bloomberg’s work practices have come into question before. There are two other pay-related lawsuits pending against the company from employees in other departments. Meanwhile, Bloomberg CEO Michael Bloomberg was recently rated the eight-richest man in the world.
U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) recently pledged in a letter mailed to Labor Secretary Tom Perez to fight for the expansion of overtime pay provision under the FLSA:
“As our economy continues to recover from the Great Recession, we, as a country, need to work on ways to help our economy grow from the middle out, not the top down,” the Senators wrote in their letter. “But today, despite longer working hours and higher productivity, workers’ wages have remained virtually unchanged. Millions of people are working harder than ever without basic overtime protections.”