Yellow Pages Publisher Settles Class Action

     DALLAS (CN) — A federal judge Tuesday approved a $2.1 million class settlement between the publisher of the Yellow Pages and call center employees in Texas and Missouri who say they were stiffed for overtime pay.
     U.S. District Judge A. Joe Fish signed off on the settlement, awarding $840,000 from it in attorneys’ fees to counsel with Baron Budd.
     The settlement ends a 2014 lawsuit from call center employees in Dallas, Fort Worth and Olivette, Mo., who said they were not paid time and a half for overtime and that the publisher miscalculates commission chargebacks.
     As part of the deal, YP Advertising and YP Texas Region Yellow Pages agreed to drop a fraud counterclaim alleging “misrepresentations they [the plaintiffs] made in the sales process” while they were employed.
     “The court hereby approves the proposed settlement agreement and finds that the settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate with respect to the defendants, plaintiffs and all members of the settlement classes,” Judge Fish wrote. “The court finds that sufficient investigation, research and litigation have been conducted such that counsel for the parties are able to evaluate their respective risks of further litigation, including the additional costs and delay associated with the further prosecution of this action.”
     Lead plaintiff Christopher Dinkins said managers told the class members to keep submitting timesheets after a computerized system was installed.
     “Furthermore, sales representatives were generally instructed by management to not log in before 8:00 a.m., to log out for a one hour lunch, and to log out at 5:00 p.m. in a typical workday even though management knew/had reason to believe that sales representatives typically worked longer hours than that,” the complaint stated.
     “At times, when sales representatives were in a log in status outside of those time parameters, managers would manually alter the login/logout data to reflect less hours worked than were actually worked.”
     Managers also told workers to research new clients and sales opportunities at night and on weekends, the plaintiffs said.
     YP did not immediately respond to an email message requesting comment late Wednesday evening.

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