ABBEY SPANIER INVESTIGATES GOLDMAN SACHS FOR UNFAIR EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES
Abbey Spanier is currently investigating Goldman Sachs & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. ("Goldman Sachs") for unfair employment practices, including failure to pay its hourly IT employees overtime compensation in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (the "FLSA") and state wage and hour laws. These employees contracted through an independent agency to work in the Technology Division of Goldman Sachs, and include, but are not limited to, Network Technicians and IT Consultants. Although Goldman Sachs retained the employees through an outside agency, Goldman acted as their joint employer because it set their hours, compensation and job duties, controlled all aspects of their day-to-day employment, required them to work from the company's offices and supervised their work.
The IT employees allegedly did not perform any computer programming; they were primarily involved in repairing the network infrastructure, installing and configuring new hardware and software and replacing routers. Upon information and belief, Goldman Sachs required these employees to respond to "trouble tickets" generated by the company and to assist in the troubleshooting and repair of the problems based on fixed policies implemented by company. They were expected to be ready and prepared to respond to these trouble tickets throughout the week, including at night and during weekend. In order to ensure that maintenance and repair of such network problems didn't interfere with the company's day-to-day activities, these employees were routinely required to stay late, long after other employees had left for the day, before even beginning their tasks. As a result, the IT employees allegedly worked over 40 hours per week without overtime pay.
According to the United States Department of Labor, in order to qualify for the "computer employee exemption" under the FLSA, the following tests must be met:
-The employee must be compensated either on a salary or fee basis at a rate not less than $455 per week or, if compensated on an hourly basis, at a rate not less than $27.63 an hour;
The computer employee exemption does not include employees engaged in the manufacture or repair of computer hardware and related equipment. Employees whose work is highly dependent upon, or facilitated by, the use of computers and computer software programs (e.g., engineers, drafters and others skilled in computer-aided design software), but who are not primarily engaged in computer systems analysis and programming or other similarly skilled computer-related occupations identified in the primary duties test described above, are also not exempt under the computer employee exemption.
Abbey Spanier is investigating whether the primary duties of IT employees who work or worked at Goldman Sachs include performing non-exempt tasks that are routine in nature and do not require the exercise of independent discretion or highly-specialized knowledge in computer systems. If these employees do not qualify for the computer employee exemption, they may be entitled to unpaid overtime.
For covered, non-exempt employees, the FLSA requires overtime pay at a rate of not less than one and one-half times the employee's regular rate of pay for each hour worked in excess of 40 hours in a given workweek. An employee's workweek is a fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours – seven consecutive 24-hour periods. A workweek does not need to coincide with the calendar week; it may begin on any day and at any hour of the day.
Some states also have enacted overtime laws. Where an employee is subject to both the state and federal overtime laws, the employee is entitled to overtime according to the higher standard (i.e., the standard that will provide the higher rate of pay).
Abbey Spanier has been representing employees in class actions and collective actions in federal and state courts throughout the United States for over a decade. Please visit our unfair employment practices page for more information about the firm's recent recoveries and achievements in this field. If you are a current or former employee of Goldman Sachs and would like to discuss our investigation, please tell us your story.Nancy Kaboolian