Posted August 19th, 2009.
Mail Giant Overworks Account Managers and Deprives Them of Overtime Pay
Lawsuit Seeks $100 Million in Back Pay and Damages under Federal and State Laws
For more information, contact Jamie Moss, newsPRos, (646) 681-7373
(August 19, 2009, San Diego) –United Parcel Service, the world’s largest package delivery service, has been withholding as much as $100 million in overtime wages from the account managers whom the company employs throughout the country. That’s the accusation at the heart of a class-action lawsuit filed today with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego by the law firm of Sanford Wittels & Heisler, LLP.
UPS has revenues approaching $50 billion a year and employs 345,000 workers in the United States. Account managers are ground troops in the multi-billion dollar corporation, going door-to-door to businesses throughout the country to promote UPS’ portfolio of delivery services. UPS requires these employees to work up to sixty hours a week but claims that these workers do not deserve to get overtime pay.
Laura Meza, a UPS account manager in Fullerton, California, brought the class and collective action. Ms. Meza aims to represent thousands of similarly underpaid UPS account managers throughout the United States. Representing Ms. Meza are David Sanford in the Washington, D.C. office of Sanford Wittels & Heisler; Steven L. Wittels, Jeremy Heisler, and Janette Wipper in the firm’s New York office, and Edward D. Chapin and Jill Sullivan, Of Counsel to the firm in San Diego.
“When it comes to treating its workers fairly,” said plaintiffs’ attorney David Sanford, “UPS just doesn’t deliver.”
“I work up to 60 hours every week,” Ms. Meza described. “My day starts at 6 a.m., when I have to go to the office to get my daily manifest lists and respond to calls and emails from customers and supervisors. From 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., I’m out in the field pitching UPS products to customers. When I finally come home, I have to keep responding to work emails. And even on weekends, vacations and sick days, I’m routinely expected to do paperwork, calls and emails for work. That’s the grinding routine that UPS requires of all of us account managers.”
The complaint against UPS charges that the colossus mail carrier fails to pay its account managers overtime wages for work in excess of 40 hours a week and eight hours a day; fails to provide these workers with mandatory meal periods and rest breaks; and fails to keep accurate records of the hours these employees work.
Ms. Meza’s attorneys at Sanford Wittels & Heisler estimate the Company’s liability at $100 million. The class-action suit demands that UPS immediately stop its unlawful pay practices and pay Ms. Meza and the account managers she represents unpaid wages due to them plus all damages permitted by California and federal wage and hour laws.
“Because overtime laws help motivate companies to hire more workers to get the job done, they’re the kind of economic stimulus that we can’t overestimate in today’s dire economic climate,” asserted attorney Jeremy Heisler.
Of Counsel to Sanford Wittels Heisler, Ed Chapin, had a timely message for UPS. “Overtime pay is a right, not a privilege. UPS account managers are forced to work grueling hours. The law dictates that UPS must pay overtime rates to these overworked employees.”
UPS is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Atlanta, GA. According to its website, the company transports 3.92 billion packages worldwide annually for some 7.9 million customers, with 426,000 employees in over 200 countries, including 345,000 in the US, a substantial proportion of which are located in California.
The Complaint requests compensatory and liquidated damages for Ms. Meza and members of the class in the amount of $100 million for unpaid overtime compensation and interest, reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs, injunctive relief, and other legal and equitable relief to which Ms. Meza, and other plaintiffs are entitled. In addition, it requests the Court to enjoin UPS to cease and desist from its unlawful, unfair and fraudulent employment practices. For more information please contact David Sanford at Sanford Wittels & Heisler (646) 681-7373.
About Sanford Wittels & Heisler LLP
Sanford Wittels & Heisler is a renowned class-action law firm with offices in Washington, D.C., New York, and San Francisco that specializes in employment discrimination, wage and hour, consumer and complex corporate class action litigation and has represented thousands of individuals in major class action cases in the United States. The firm also represents individual clients in employment, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, whistleblower, public accommodations, commercial, medical malpractice, and personal injury matters. Individuals with these claims are encouraged to contact Sanford Wittels & Heisler at (646) 681-7373.