IBM accused of overworking call centre staff -

Former employees of Big Blue started an action against IBM in a Dallas district court, alleging that call centre staff were forced to work unreasonable work hours.

The action, by Tajuana Banks, Kimberley B Maloney and others, is based on the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

IBM has a call centre in Dallas, Texas.

Both Banks and Maloney formerly worked for IBM, and they allege that while employees worked overtime, and were entitled to premium compensation for working more than 40 hours a week, the company "wilfully refused" to pay up.

IBM's policy, the filing continues, is to only pay for 40 hours. But employees have to arrive at work 10-15 minutes before their scheduled hours to boot up their PCs and load their applications.

"In addition, Call Centre employees are required to complete all customer calls before they can leave work, even if their shift has ended, and are required to work during meal and rest breaks if necessary, to complete customer calls. As a consequence, call centre employees routinely work in excess of forty hours per week without receiving overtime compensation."

The two, along with a number of other nationwide collective plaintiffs, want damages and compensation.