Phone Sex Worker Sues Firm for 'Draconian' Pay Setup
Tele Pay USA is accused of paying its workers less than minimum-wage mandate
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2017 8:42 AM CDT
Who is "Don," though?   (Getty Images/shorrocks)

(Newser) – Want to be your own boss? Make your own hours? Not get properly paid according to the Fair Labor Standards Act? While the first two perks of working as a "phone actor" for Tele Pay USA's "adult and psychic hotlines" are listed on the company's website, the latter is the subject of a lawsuit that's been filed against the California firm, per FOX 11. The class-action complaint set into place by Florida's Anne Cannon alleges that Tele Pay holds back overtime and other pay by classifying workers as independent contractors, as well as pays some employees wages well below the federally mandated $7.25 per hour, Courthouse News Service reports. Cannon alleges Tele Pay workers are urged by management to keep callers on the line for as long as possible via "sexually explicit talk," per Law360.

But her suit alleges when average call times fall below six minutes, so does workers' hourly rate, to as low as $4.20 per hour. The suit adds it's difficult to keep calls above that benchmark—despite a guy named "Don" who offers tips on how to keep callers interested—as the workers field brief prank calls and experience dropped calls or other technical snafus, all of which get factored into the average; Cannon calls them "draconian measures" to cut her paycheck, per the Washington Post. Cannon, who has worked for Tele Pay since 2008, also says she's often asked to put in more than 40 hours a week without overtime pay. And the company requires that she remain in her home and near a phone during "certain periods of time." The suit covers similar claims from others over the last three years. (Maine's EBT callers got a sex line instead.)

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