IBM is being sued in federal court for not paying overtime to tens of thousands of its employees. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court on behalf of three current and former workers, and seeks class-action status to represent computer installers and maintenance workers for IBM throughout the United States. The lawsuit seeks millions of dollars in back pay and the plaintiffs are also considering punitive damages. “They were forced to work overtime without being paid in a manner that is required by the state and federal laws,” attorney James Finberg said.
Experts speculated that the practice of not paying overtime to workers who deserve it was widespread in the technology industry, as evidenced by Electronic Arts’ agreement last year to pay $15.6 million to settle a class-action lawsuit by employees contending they did not receive overtime pay. “In the last couple of years, there has definitely been an increase in the number of wage-and-hour actions brought on behalf of computer related employees,” said Oakland attorney Jeff Ross, who is representing 840 engineers working for applications software maker Siebold Systems Inc. in a pending overtime class action.