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Sprint settles wage-and-hour class-action lawsuit

Sprint’s business sales employees might be forgiven if they ask management of the company “Can you hear me now?” After news that Sprint recently reached a $3.65 million settlement with sales employees, there is no doubt that management has finally heard them.

The settlement earlier this month brought to an end a nine-year class-action wage-and-hour lawsuit that began when nearly 4,000 Sprint sales employees claimed the phone company failed to pay commissions they were owed after the merger with Nextel in 2004.

The employees complained that for several years Sprint’s payroll systems did not track and calculate commissions and other pay data.

"We continue to deny the allegations asserted by the plaintiffs, and contend that each class member was compensated appropriately and in accordance with their commission contracts," Kansas-based Sprint stated.

The Kansas City Business Journal reported that “the highly technical case” included “more than 10 million pages of discovery.” (Note: discovery is a pre-trial process in which the two sides share information.)

An employment law attorney for the plaintiffs said the “long and hard-fought case” had “extremely complex data and issues,” but that “the result is a fair and reasonable resolution.”

Some readers might recall that last year Sprint settled an overtime pay dispute with about 150 employees who had alleged the company paid them for 40 hours of weekly work though it knew that people were putting in more hours. In at least one case, a worker said he was putting in 60 hours per week but being paid for only 40.

Though Sprint has repeatedly denied violating the Fair Labor Standards Act, it has also repeatedly agreed to settlements that favor complaining employees.

Workers who want to be paid what they are owed – including overtime and commissions – must sometimes force employers to obey the law. If you have been denied owed pay, speak with an employment law attorney with Alan C. Olson & Associates, s.c. about your legal options.

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