Lawsuit accuses Facebook of company-wide 'scheme' to get out of paying overtime


 A former staff member claims that the social media giant deliberately misclassifies employees so as not to pay them what they are owed.

A former client solutions manager has hit Facebook with a proposed federal class action lawsuit claiming that the social media giant deliberately misclassifies employees so as not to pay them overtime.

Susie Bigger, who used to work at the company’s Chicago office, has alleged that she and countless other staff members were wrongly classified as “managers” as part of a “scheme to deprive them of overtime compensation”. She attested that the scheme consisted of a “systematic, companywide wrongful classification” system that applied to client and customer solutions as well as customer account managers “or other similarly titled positions”.

The lawsuit claims that the main duties of these various roles, known as “CSMs”, were nearly identical and involved “communicating with existing Facebook advertising customers, implementing their marketing plans, and selling Facebook marketing products and services to existing customers”. As a result, a “large percentage” of their compensation comes from “commissions from the sale of Facebook’s marketing products”.

But Bigger attested that these positions failed to constitute management roles. In the US, such posts are legally not eligible to be paid overtime, which is 1.5 times an individual’s normal pay rate after they have worked for 40 hours over the course of a week.

“CSMs do not perform duties related to the management or general business operations of Facebook,” the suit alleged. “Rather, CSMs’ duties constitute the principal production activity of Facebook as a social media and marketing platform.”

But their primary duties did not involve exercising “discretion or independent judgement with respect to matters of significance”. The law suit is seeking back pay, damages, interest and that legal fees are paid for an untold number of Facebook employees.

But Facebook told the Ars Technica website that the lawsuit was “without merit” and it would defend itself “vigorously” against it.