A federal judge said today that potentially thousands of former BellSouth field workers can sue the telecommunications company for an estimated $1 billion in unpaid overtime.
The suing workers say that until 2007, BellSouth field managers were paid overtime if they worked more than 40 hours a week. But after AT&T bought BellSouth in September of that year, the overtime payments were stopped, even though the field managers were required to work as much as 70 hours a week.
Chief U.S. District Judge Julie Carnes in Atlanta classified the case as a class action, opening up the overtime claims to all potentially affected workers in the Southeast, including hundreds of workers in North Carolina.
The workers could be owed more than $100,000, said Steven Wittels, the New York lawyer handling the case.