IBM Allegedly Denied Workers Overtime Pay

On Tuesday, a suit filed in federal court alleged that IBM denied overtime compensation to tens of thousands of workers, The New York Times reports.

The lawsuit contends that Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM mislabeled full-time computer installation and maintenance workers as exempt from overtime.

"We believe that those tens of thousands of workers have worked tens of thousands, perhaps millions, of unpaid overtime hours," said James M. Finberg, an attorney with Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein.

Typically, employees who work more than the average 40-hour workweek are entitled to overtime compensation under federal law, unless they fit certain requirements for legal exemption.  According to Finberg, the plaintiffs in the suit against IBM do not "fall into the very narrow exceptions to the overtime laws."

Two current Calif.-based IBM employees are named as plaintiffs, Thomas Rosenburg and John Shelly, as well as one former employee in New York, Exaldo Topacio. 

"There were many occasions when I was required to work in excess of 40 hours per week," Topacio, who was a technical support worker in IBM’s New York network support division.

The suit seeks national compensation for the unpaid work and an injunction in Calif. to stop what the plaintiffs are calling unfair labor practices in regard to unpaid overtime.

-Al Sacco

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