Class-action suit against Qwest is certified
By H.J. CUMMINS
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Saturday, August 4, 2007
A Minnesota federal court has conditionally
certified a class-action lawsuit against Qwest Communications.
The suit alleges that the company systematically required as
many as 8,000 employees in call center nationwide to do unpaid
work before and after their regular hours.
The order, by Judge Michael Davis, authorizes the Minneapolis
law firm Nichols Kaster & Anderson to notify all current and
former Qwest call center employees since Aug. 30, 2003, of their
potential eligibility to join the claim.
"Plaintiffs have established a colorable basis that they are
victims of a single, nationwide policy by Qwest to illegally
withhold overtime pay," Davis wrote.
The decision expands what began as a Minnesota lawsuit that
included Nikie Graham, who worked in Qwest's St. Paul center in
2004 and 2005. The regular demands of the job -- such as
staring 10 to 20 computer systems and programs before the shift
-- tacked about half an hour onto the average workday, Graham
Qwest, which is based in Denver and has about 4,200 employees in
Minnesota, has denied the allegations. Since 2003, it has
operated consumer call center in 13 states and small-business
call centers in six states.