Suit: IBM Techs Didn't Get Proper OT

January 25, 2006 ( - Computer giant IBM has been slapped with a lawsuit charging that it did not pay overtime to tens of thousands of rank-and-file employees.

The suit, filed in US District Court for the Northern District of California, features three current and former workers as plaintiffs and asks the court for class action status on behalf of IBM computer installers and maintenance workers across the country, the Recorder reported.

The plaintiffs demand compensation for the past four years for affected current and former IBM workers in California and three years of back pay for those in other states. According to the plaintiffs, it isn’t unusual for network technicians to work 45 to 50 hours a week, through lunch breaks, into the evening hours and on the weekends.

“I think there will be an increasing recognition in those industries that workers are not exempt from overtime pay,” said Steven Zieff, of Rudy, Exelrod & Zieff, one of the plaintiffs lawyers in the case. “Companies have been taking advantage that workers have not been able to band together and fight those pay practices.”

Additionally, Zieff points out that while the suit was filed against IBM because that is where the plaintiffs work, the computer giant is an industry leader that could set a new standard for other companies.

The case is Rosenburg v. IBM, 06-0430.