A class action suit against AT&T for back wages and damages, filed on behalf of some of its information technology workers, has picked up more plaintiffs.
The suit was originally filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in February. It was brought by Matthew Buccellato, a technical support worker in California. He contends that AT&T misclassified him as a salaried, rather than hourly, employee. As a result, he was denied overtime that he otherwise deserved. AT&T denies this and says that it classified the technical support workers properly.
The other plaintiffs are Rick Cortes of Colorado, Richard Malcontento of New Jersey, Kenneth Carlton of New York, Lowell Hill of North Carolina.
The suit could cost AT&T millions of dollars if the class of people the court deems covered is large, as plaintiffs are seeking years' worth of back pay and 401(k) contributions.
In such suits other members of the class are brought in as plaintiffs because local state laws can sometimes be more protective of employees than their federal counterparts.
Employees are routinely classified as either salaried or hourly. But the presumption is that one is an hourly employee unless specifically stated otherwise. Anyone who is classes a salaried worker has to be doing something considered professional, which means making some kind of creative decisions.
Administrative workers often fall in this category, and historically many workers in information technology have as well. Under the law, job titles don't matter; it's what the person working is actually doing that decides the issue.