Comcast Technicians to Seek Overtime as Class

     CHICAGO (CN) – A federal judge certified a class of 400 technicians who say they deserve overtime pay for their Comcast installation and repair work.
     Prior to April 1, 2009, technicians who installed and repaired Comcast services for Matrix Communications were classified as independent contractors and paid on a per-job basis. After that date, the technicians were reclassified as employees and paid hourly, with a bonus for efficiency based on the number of jobs completed.
     In 2010, a class sued Matrix and Comcast, claiming they were improperly classified as independent contractors before April 1, and were not properly paid for overtime hours even after the transition to an hourly rate.
     The class is represented by Alex Thomas and Jesus Muniz.
     U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber certified the class last week, finding that pre- and post-reclassification employees can easily be subdivided into two classes to avoid any commonality issues.
     “This is an apt solution, particularly because, beyond the pre- and post-transition divide, defendants do not specifically identify any commonality or predominance problems,” he wrote. “In a throwaway line, defendants urge that ‘the fact that Thomas and Muniz were classified differently is not the only concern, but also that the differences in their treatment and experience are so numerous and not representative of the class that individualized inquiries will be needed as to each class member.’ Yet defendants offer no examples of how, beyond the pre- and post-transition issue, commonality and predominance is a problem.”
     “Additionally, there is no suggestion by the parties that these two subclasses’ interests would be at odds, or that those class members who span both subclasses face discrete factual inquiries,” Leinenweber added.
     “Common questions of fact remain, such as whether defendants failed to keep accurate time records, whether they failed to pay overtime, and whether they made improper deductions from technicians’ compensation. Class action remains the most efficient way to resolve this litigation,” the nine-page decision states.

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