HSBC Hit with FLSA Overtime Suit

July 20, 2005 ( - Global banking firm HSBC USA has been slapped with a federal court lawsuit alleging that it violated labor laws by not properly paying call center employees for overtime work hours.

New York law firm Outen & Golden filed the suit on behalf of former call center workers James Stefaniak and Keith Panaccione who worked at HSBC’s Buffalo, New York facility, a law firm news release said. The suit alleges HSBC violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New York state laws.

According to the news release, the lawyers will try to have the case certified as a class action so they can represent current and former workers at the Buffalo facility as well as HSBC call centers in Depew, New York; Chesapeake, Virginia; Wood Dale, Illinois; Las Vegas, Nevada and other locations.

“Call center employees work in high-stress, low-pay jobs,” charged plaintiff attorney Justin Swartz, in the news release. “Ensuring that workers got paid for all of their work should be a top priority of all call center operators such as HSBC.”

He added that the law firm’s investigation of overtime practices involves call centers throughout the nation run by other companies as well.

The case is James Stefaniak and Keith Panaccione vs. HSBC Bank USA Inc., (No. 05 CV 6528) and was filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.