Lear Werts has filed a class action lawsuit in the St. Louis County Circuit Court on behalf of marketing employees working for BizLibrary. BizLibrary (formally named Business Training Library, Inc.) is a company specializing in providing out-sourced employee training for businesses in a variety of sectors. The employees at issue in the lawsuit worked in BizLibrary’s call center in St. Louis County and were tasked with identifying and creating “sales qualified leads” that would then be handed over to an account executive who would attempt to sell BizLibrary’s products and services to the new potential customer.
The lawsuit alleges that the marketing employees charged with identifying new leads were not paid overtime, despite routinely working more than 40 hours a week. BizLibrary appears to treat the employees as exempt from the overtime requirements of Missouri law, but the employees argue that no such exemption applies.
The regulations to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act–which are incorporated into the Missouri statute governing overtime–make it clear that promotional work performed in service of another employee’s effort to make a sale is not exempt from the overtime requirements of federal (and, by extension, Missouri) law:
29 C.F.R. § 541.503 Promotion work.
(a) . . . Promotional work that is actually performed incidental to and in conjunction with an employee’s own outside sales or solicitations is exempt work. On the other hand, promotional work that is incidental to sales made, or to be made, by someone else is not exempt outside sales work. . . .
The lawsuit filed by Lear Werts seeks to certify a class action on behalf of all employees currently working or who previously worked as a salaried Sales Development Associate within the last three years. The suit seeks to recover the employee’s unpaid overtime as well as liquidated damages calculated at two-times the unpaid wages.