Hotels.com, a hotel reservation call center headquartered in Dallas, Texas,
has agreed to pay $126,133 in back overtime wages after an investigation by
the U.S. Department of Labor found that 898 current and former telephone operators
were underpaid in Texas call centers.
Investigators from the Wage and Hour Division say that Hotels.com was deducting
30 minutes a day for two 15-minute rest breaks from the workers pay.
"The Department of Labor serves to ensure that workers are paid properly,"
says Tammy D. McCutchen, the Wage and Hour administrator. "Employers can
deduct lunch breaks or rest breaks if these breaks are at least 20 minutes or
more; however, employers who offer 15 minute morning or afternoon coffee breaks
or rest breaks are required to pay employees for that time. In this case, the
employer unlawfully deducted the breaks, depriving workers from overtime pay
each week. Hotels.com did cooperate with the department and has changed this
practice to comply with the law."
- From the HR.BLR.com Library: