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T-Mobile to Pay Workers Back Wages

November 26, 2003

BELLEVUE, Wash. (AP) _ Wireless telecommunications company T-Mobile USA Inc. has agreed to pay about $4.8 million in back wages to workers for allegedly violating overtime payment provisions, the Labor Department said Tuesday.

The affected workers _ about 20,546 people _ were employed at 13 customer-service call centers around the country between Nov. 16, 2000, and Oct. 14, 2003. An investigation by the Labor Department found that Bellevue, Wash.-based T-Mobile had failed to pay workers for preparatory activities before the start of their shifts that should have been compensated.

The amounts paid to workers will range from a few dollars to several hundred depending on how many hours were worked, T-Mobile spokeswoman Kim Thompson said. The company does not admit any wrongdoing as part of the agreement, she said.

The problem, T-Mobile maintains, is that ``certain customer service representatives, with the best of intentions, may have started their shifts a few minutes early and failed to fully record this time.″

The payment will be made to employees in the first quarter of 2004.

The employees worked at 13 call centers: Bellingham, Wash.; Allentown, Pa.; Wichita, Kan.; Lenexa, Kan.; Salem, Ore.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Thornton, Colo.; Nashville, Tenn.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Tampa, Fla.; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; and Birmingham, Ala.

T-Mobile is a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG’s mobile telecommunications subsidiary.

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