Business & Real Estate

Class-action suit against Blue Shield alleges wage, labor violations in call centers

A lawsuit seeking class-action status has been filed against Blue Shield of California, alleging that hundreds of call center employees working for the San Francisco-based health care plan provider were victims of multiple wage and labor violations.

The suit was filed Wednesday in San Francisco Superior Court by Sacramento attorney Anthony M. Perez Jr.

On Friday, Perez said the suit was filed on behalf of between 300 and 400 Blue Shield employees who worked at call centers throughout California, including locations in El Dorado Hills and Rancho Cordova.

Perez noted that the class action does not include contracted workers.

The suit’s allegations include failure to pay lawfully required minimum wages and overtime, and failure to provide accurate, timely wage and hour statements.

Among the specific, alleged practices outlined in the suit, call center workers contend that they were required to come to work about 15 to 20 minutes early to turn on their computers, assess their screens and respond to technical issues before logging into the Blue Shield time-keeping system and responding to call center inquiries. This practice, the suit alleges, was off-the-clock work for which employees were not compensated. Likewise, the work before logging in was not reflected in their paychecks.

Perez said the alleged violations date back four years.

Attempts to get comment from Blue Shield late Friday afternoon were unsuccessful.

The suit seeks a jury trial; unspecified nominal, compensatory and punitive damages; restitution; and other penalty enforcements.

Mark Glover: 916-321-1184, @markhglover