Thursday, June 12, 2008

LiveOps Lawsuit...

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For those who are not familiar with it, LiveOps is a virtual call center that hires work at home agents. It was one of the companies I applied for back in 2001. The job itself is not hard, if you have the confidence and the patience to sit by the phone to take inbound calls. I was able to pass everything but did not have enough courage to take live calls.

Anyway, I read in one of the chat boards I visit every now and then that there is an ongoing lawsuit against this company. In the post is the link leading to the said Class Action Lawsuit against the company. Two of their complaints are unpaid training and unpaid overtime fees as required by Federal Law if one works more than 40 hours a week.

Here's a part of the said lawsuit:

The Plaintiffs allege that they and other similarly situated Home Agents (1) were improperly classified as "independent contractors" by LiveOps, Inc., (2) that LiveOps, Inc. controlled most, if not all, major aspects of the Home Agent's job, (3) that they were not paid for any training time associated with the job at LiveOps, Inc., (4) that they worked many hours without receiving the equivalent of the federal minimum wage, and, (5) that they worked more than 40 hours during some weeks and was not paid the federally required overtime rate of pay. The Plaintiffs allege that by not paying them correctly, LiveOps, Inc. violated the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1939, 29 U.S.C. §216(b).

I don't really really know if they stand a chance as agents are classified as Independent Contractors and are therefore not considered as employees of the company.

Some other former agents already joined in the bandwagon. So if you worked for this company in the last 3 years, you may want to check the link provided above. Who knows, if these agents win this case, it may change the lives of ICs all over the country....and that's only for the better...I think.

2 comments:

Justin said...

As a LiveOps agent, it saddens me to conclude that this lawsuit is just and must prevail. I think that they're a great company to work for and none of its leaders have deliberately set out to exploit the hard-working agents of LO. Still, you know what they say about the road to hell...

Telecommuting is the wave of the future and with the price of gas fluctuating wildly, call centers will soon be mostly operated remotely. As such, guidelines and precedents need to be established to ensure workers' rights. Any time a person works from home, the automatic assumption is that they're a contractor and as such, not entitled to any rights or benefits. If we're not careful, some of the greedier companies will jump at the opportunity to exploit people. Labor laws are put into place for a reason and if there's a loophole somewhere, you can bet there are ten millionaires looking to squeeze through it. Training pay, overtime, and sick leave are some of the things call center agents could stand to lose if their company decides to send everyone home to do the exact same job and call them contractors.

Telecommuting is a brilliant solution to some of our financial and ecological problems. The company saves a bundle by not paying for office space and equipment and the worker saves a bundle in gas, time, and vanity costs. If we're going to make this country work productively from home, workers will need just a little bit more than "hey, be glad you don't have to dress up and drive."

Anyway, I could babble for hours about why LO agents are not really contractors but suffice it to say that a company can't just call its workers contractors because it suits them. West (www.workathomeagent.com) learned this the hard way, and so will LiveOps.

john said...

I think that they're a great company to work for and none of its leaders have deliberately set out to exploit the hard-working agents of LO. Still, you know what they say about the road to hell.
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