Oracle was sued on Tuesday by a former sales rep for allegedly failing to pay overtime wages, in violation of America's federal Fair Labor Standards Act and Texas state law.
The civil lawsuit, filed on behalf of plaintiff Daniel Wilson in district court in Austin, Texas, claims Oracle has been directing its sales staff – referred to in more grandiose terms as account executives – to work for free if their responsibilities extend beyond standard business hours.
Wilson, the complaint stated, worked for Oracle from February 2016 through November 9, 2017, and was directed to report no more than forty hours of work per week, though he often worked more than that.
Wilson is said to have received a commission in addition to an hourly wage – but not a salary, which could have made him exempt from overtime.
Employers in the US may excused from overtime obligations if several conditions are met, one of which is when a commission payment amounts to more than half of an employee's earnings during a pay period. But Wilson's commission amounted to less than half his wages.
Oracle, the complaint claimed, "failed and refused to pay its Account Executives at time-and-one-half their regular rates of pay for all hours worked in excess of forty hours within a workweek by knowingly permitting and intentionally directing their Account Executives to work off the clock for any hours in excess of forty in a week."
The lawsuit seeks to be certified as a class action, in order to represent the estimated 200 to 1,000 sales reps who worked for Oracle over the past four years by doing more than 40 hours of work in a week without being appropriately compensated.
Oracle declined to comment.
The California-based database giant has been involved with several lawsuits recently over its compensation practices. The biz was sued in 2015 by sales rep Felicia Wilson over underpaid commission fees, resulting in an award that Oracle tried unsuccessfully to undo earlier this year.
Sales rep Marcella Johnson sued Oracle in February, claiming that the company underpays sales employees by demanding they accept changed compensation contracts that reduce both owed and paid wages.
And last month, three women that had been employed by Oracle sued Larry Ellison's company, claiming that it deliberately and unfairly pays women less than men. ®