AT&T sued for tracking its own employees using GPS and charging them $85 to $135 a month to do so
The strange case coming out of America! Top mobile and Internet services provider allegedly tracked its own employees using GPS and made them pay for it. A lawsuit filed by Gunther Daniel Gunther claims AT&T used the GPS systems in company vehicles to track its sales representatives’ appointments. They also illegally deducted money from the sales reps paychecks as reimbursement for letting them use the cars, according to a proposed class action filed Thursday in California federal court.
Gunther says that the cellular network provider used the GPS in its cars to keep tabs on sales reps. He further alleges that the sales rep were harassed if they spend longer than the allocated 45 minutes with a customer. The lawsuit claims AT&T charged Gunther for being tracked. It allegedly “arbitrarily” deducted between $85 and $135 a month out of his payroll for use of the car without informing him or taking his consent.
Gunther says sales representatives were subject to strict monitoring and discipline imposed for not keeping up with customer appointments that were supposed to last no more than 45 minutes. The workers were dispatched to their appointments by the GPS tracker in their work vehicles, which AT&T also used to make sure workers weren’t using the cars for personal use, according to the suit.
Gunther, who says he makes about $48,000 a year in base pay working as an “in-home expert” for AT&T in San Jose, filed the suit under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Unfair Business Practices Act class on behalf of all current and former in-home experts in California who worked for AT&T in the last three years.
Gunther, who started working at AT&T in April 2018, says he was not allowed to keep his own work hours, which he claims is contrary to what is customary for an exempt outside sales representative — which is how AT&T classifies its in-home experts. Instead, he had to work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and had to activate the GPS route dispatch system in his car to find out where he was going, according to the complaint.
A spokesperson for AT&T stated that they pay their employees fairly and follow the law. Further, the spokesperson said that they dispute and will fight these claims.