Update Disgruntled former employees of domain-name registrar Go Daddy have filed a class action lawsuit against the company, claiming potentially millions of dollar in "stolen" bonuses and overtime.
The suit claims that the domain-name market leader broke the law by using a "subjective and arbitrary" process to withhold commissions from its call centre techies, and then fired one when he blew the whistle.
It also alleges that by treating sales commissions as discretionary bonuses, Go Daddy has avoided paying its staff overtime at the proper rate.
One plaintiff told us that he believes the company is using these tricks to wipe $5m to $20m a year from its cost of labour.
"In my first 30 days, they pulled about $1,300 in bonuses from me, that was about half my income," said Toby Harris, one of three named plaintiffs.
According to Harris, call centre staff have 12 minutes to run through a check-list of updates and up-sells with each customer. A score below 80 per cent means no bonus. Harris scored 78 per cent in his first month, despite being the top-selling employee.
Harris was fired earlier this year, after only a couple of months at the company. His termination letter says he was fired for not sufficiently validating a customer's identity, but he claims to be a "whistleblower" who was wrongfully dismissed.
Go Daddy is believed to have about a thousand Inbound Technical Sales and Support Specialists, who handle all sales and tech support calls to the company. Most are based in Arizona.
The case could cover all of Go Daddy's call centre staff going back five years.
Go Daddy did not immediately provide comment on the suit, which was filed earlier today. ®
After this story was published, a Go Daddy spokesperson provided the following statement: "We have not yet received the complaint and, as a matter of protocol, do not comment on pending litigation. We will say we intend to vigorously defend this lawsuit. Go Daddy employs more than 2600 people. We stand by our well-established reputation as a top-notch employer. We are proud to have been honored year after year by numerous third-party organizations, and our own employees, as an ethical, generous employer."