Arise Virtual Solutions, Inc.® (Arise) is a customer service support company that contracts with companies like Comcast Cable Communications Management, LLC, a telecommunications company that is looking to outsource its customer service needs through a workforce of customer support agents. In recent years, claims have been made that Arise® has denied their customer service workforce minimum wage, overtime pay, and paid sick leave by misclassifying them as independent contractors instead of company employees. Since these claims have been made, multiple lawsuits have been launched against Arise® for employee misclassification.
As the suit would claim, Arise® has systemically misclassified its employees over the years as independent contractors. While working as an independent contractor may seem like a good thing, a study conducted by Harvard Law School has shown that companies like Arise® will use these roles to get ahead in their misclassifications to avoid paying out their legal requirements for fair wages and benefits. In doing so, Arise® has ultimately denied their agents the right to claim their payments for the standard for minimum wage, overtime pay, and paid sick leave.
Along with exposing Arise® worker misclassifications, the lawsuit seeks to have these "agents" recognized as legal employees since Arise® has the authority to hire and fire their agents, as well as to determine their working rate. The customer service company has also been found to have required its agents to meet with managers and supervisors and has sought to monitor their agents with a digital surveillance technology that tracks their performance second by second.
Arise® Continues to Overwork and Underpay Its Agents
Arise® has also used numerous methods to unlawfully slash its agents’ wages by making them work for hourly rates blatantly below minimum wage. Arise® has also continued to cut down on their agent's wages by requiring them to pay for their training and forcing them to obtain specific certifications. On top of the previous fees, agents were also responsible for purchasing their own work equipment. However, the wage cuts did not stop there, while on top of paying out of pocket for training fees and work equipment, agents were often made to work off the clock through the guise of meetings with their supervisors. Additionally, if agent performance did not meet a certain standard, more cuts and deductions would reflect on their eventual take-home pay.
What Justice Can Victims See From Arise®?
Arise® has violated FLSA and FMLA through the following actions:
Failure to pay the minimum wage: Arise® has failed to pay their agents the minimum wage for all hours worked in violation of the FLSA. The FLSA requires employers to pay employees a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Agents working at Arise® have continuously been underpaid per the legal requirements.
Failure to provide sick leave: Arise® has failed to provide agents with paid sick leave as required by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), as well as violating sick leave laws for those agents located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Washington, D.C.
Failure to pay overtime: Arise® has failed to pay the overtime rates of at least 1.5 times the employee's standard rate to agents who worked over 40 hours per week in violation of the FLSA.
Those agents who have worked for Arise® may be eligible for financial compensation for lost or stolen wages, overtime pay, and sick leave. However, it is essential to note that compensation can vary from case to case and can be subject to change depending on your state laws for what is legally required for employers to provide you with minimum wage and sick leave. However, we highly recommend you speak to an attorney to better understand your case and what you could receive regarding the Arise® lawsuit.
To follow along with this lawsuit, or if you worked for Arise® and were a victim of employee misclassification, you can connect with the experts at Morgan & Morgan today by completing our free, no-obligation case evaluation form.