Last month, a New Jersey District Court judge granted conditional certification in a wage and hour collective action brought by appliance repair technicians employed by General Electric. Thirteen plaintiffs, who service appliances in customer’s homes, filed the lawsuit and alleged that they were required to perform work, before and after their shift, without pay. Specifically, plaintiffs claim that they were required to perform pre-shift work, such as logging on to their computer to retrieve a list of calls for the day, checking emails, ensuring that they have the necessary parts for their service calls and contacting customers to find out if they were home. Plaintiffs additionally claim that they worked through lunch, even though pay for a 30-minute lunch break was automatically deducted, and they performed off-the-clock work at the end of each shift, such as answering emails, ordering parts and checking calls for the next day.
The judge ruled that plaintiffs provided sufficient evidence for conditional certification and that GE had a policy, either written or unwritten, that affected service technicians similarly. Thus far, approximately 100 workers have opted-in to this action.
This firm will continue to monitor the developments in this case.