Comcast and its Installation Provider, Prince Telecom, Sued for Unpaid Wages
Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky has brought a class action lawsuit against Comcast Corp., Comcast Cable Communications Management LLC, and Prince Telecom LLC for allegedly failing to pay cable installation technicians for all hours worked. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on April 13, 2021 and is brought on behalf of current and former Prince Telecom technicians.
Comcast Corp. is the largest broadcasting and cable television company in the world by revenue, which totals over $103 billion per year. Comcast is the largest TV cable company and home internet service provider in the United States and the nation’s third-largest home telephone service provider. Prince Telecom provides cable and communication equipment installations on behalf of Comcast.
Schneider Wallace represents the former technicians Manuel Roman, Jiquelle Kinnard and Anthony Hayward, who filed suit and seek to represent a collective of all current and former installation technicians in the US from 2018 to present. They also seek to represent classes of all current and former Prince Telecom technicians in Pennsylvania going back to 2017 and those in Massachusetts going back to 2015.
Like countless other installation technicians employed by Defendants, the plaintiffs state they worked long hours, 6-7 hours per week and between 60-70 hours per week. They would start work early, typically between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m., and first report to one of the Prince Telecom warehouses to gather equipment for the day and organize their vehicles. Technicians who do not have enough equipment on hand had to wait in line behind their fellow technicians to gather additional equipment. Prince Telecom’s policy and practice, however, allegedly precluded technicians from clocking in for the time spent at the warehouse at the start of their shift.
Additionally, plaintiffs allege Prince Telecom routinely altered or deleted codes that its technicians had submitted for completed jobs and would pressure technicians to not submit code entries for some of the tasks they completed. Defendants systematically pressured technicians to underreport their hours to give the appearance of greater productivity and as a way to increase their regular hourly rates. Defendants’ alleged practice of underreporting and altering hours resulted in technicians performing substantial off-the-clock work, including overtime work, when went unrecorded and unpaid by Defendants.
According to plaintiffs, as a natural consequence of technicians’ overwhelming workload and Defendants’ constant pressure to complete all daily job assignments, technicians were systematically denied the opportunity to take meal breaks. Plaintiff further allege defendants nevertheless routinely required technicians to falsely document that they took 30-minute meal breaks, even when they did not do so. These “meal breaks” were typically taken en route to the next job site and were not compensated. If the technician did not document that they took a 30-minute meal break, Defendants’ billing departments would routinely alter time records to include a 30-minute meal period, whether the technician in fact took a meal break or not.
After their shifts end, technicians state they were often required to return to work after clocking out to finish a lengthy job or to assist another technician. Even on their day off, technicians were instructed to go to customers’ homes to fix or complete a job. These 4-10 hours of post-shift work per week went uncompensated.
Defendants’ alleged common course of wage-and-hour misconduct to shortchange their technicians would be in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage-and-hour laws. Though the technicians were paid by Prince Telecom, Comcast exercised substantial control over them and acted as a joint employer. Comcast monitors and evaluates work performed by the technicians in real time using its application called Tech Net (or Tech 360), which technicians are required to install on their mobile devices. Comcast dictates the technician’s daily route, arrival and departure times, job assignments, and schedules. Technicians are required to directly communicate with Comcast dispatchers throughout the day regarding all aspects of their day-to-day work. Meal breaks had to first be approved by a Comcast dispatcher.
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If you believe you are not being paid for all the time you have worked or are not being paid the overtime due to you, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our employment attorneys. Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky LLP is a national law firm that represents employees in a wide range of employment law cases, including class action lawsuits involving the failure to pay wages, overtime pay and commissions.