Sprint settles call center lawsuits for $8.8M

Sprint Nextel agreed to settle three class-action lawsuits for $8.8 million. The lawsuits claimed that the carrier failed to pay call center workers for overtime hours and other compensation.

The settlement, which was filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in the District of Kansas, involved Sprint call centers in Lenexa, Kan.; Oklahoma City; Orlando, Fla.; Rio Rancho, N.M.; and Fort Worth, Texas. As part of the settlement, Sprint denied any wrongdoing. The other suits were filed in California and New York, and Sprint agreed to pay $6.4 million for the Kansas class, $2 million for the California class and $325,000 for the New York one.

Sprint has said that it plans to close as many as 20 call centers in 2009 to cut costs. "What 2008 shows is you can improve your performance, your operating performance, by getting very disciplined around care and cut costs," Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said last week at Citi's Annual Global Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications Conference in Phoenix.

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