HATTIESBURG, Miss.(WHLT) – Employees across several General Dynamics call centers are accusing the company of wage theft.
According to the Communications Workers of America four different call centers from Mississippi have filed a complaint about jobs being misclassified. This classification affects how much employees are paid hourly.
“These jobs are covered by the Service Contract Act (SCA), a federal law that sets prevailing wage standards for federally contracted service work,” CWA said in a release. “CWA has uncovered an extensive pattern of misclassification of workers under the SCA to avoid paying workers the wages they deserve.”
WJTV talked with Venus Nelson, a Hattiesburg employee, who’s been working at General Dynamics for over two and a half years. During her time with the company she’s been promoted twice, but those promotions only came with a total 59 cent pay increase.
“When I started off as a general clerk I got paid $9.05, but now I only make $9.64.”
Nelson and other employees claim they should be getting paid between $12 and $13 an hour. She says the work they do is more than what is being classified.
“We are not doing jobs that work listed as classified doing, We’re doing much more difficult jobs, much more intelled… of what we’re doing, but we’re not getting the pay we should be getting paid for.”
General Dynamics Spokesperson, Mark Meudt responded to the complaint saying:
General Dynamics Information Technology takes seriously our obligations under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Service Contract Act.
Our call center employees are not represented by the Communications Workers of America and it is not empowered to act on behalf of our call center employees. We value our people and the work that they perform.
Similar to other federal contractors, the company is subject to routine compliance reviews by the Department of Labor. As with any notice received, we will engage with the relevant parties, including our employees and the Department of Labor.
CWA says if the Department of Labor’s find this wage theft to be true, General Dynamics could owe up to $100 million in back pay.
To see the full statement from CWA, click here.