Seventeen former salespeople for Angie’s List Inc. filed lawsuits Tuesday alleging the Indianapolis-based company systematically withheld payment for overtime hours they worked.
Both lawsuits say the employees, who held positions that were eligible for overtime pay, all worked in excess of 40 hours per week, but did not receive time-and-half compensation for the extra hours.
“Angie’s List routinely and regularly instructed its sales representatives to under-report, or not report, hours worked over 40 hours per week, in order to avoid paying overtime,” said a written statement from Indianapolis law firm DeLaney & DeLaney LLC, which filed the suit in U.S. District Court.
The plaintiffs, who were employed at various times from 2010 to this year, are seeking compensation for their lost overtime wages, damage penalties, attorney’s fees and costs.
Their positions included senior solutions consultant, ad sales consultant, senior sales associate, account manager, discovery representative, "Big Deal" representative/consultant and eligibility representative.
Cheryl Reed, director of external communications for Angie’s List, said the company has a policy of not commenting on litigation.
One of the suits, filed on behalf of 14 plaintiffs, is a “collective” lawsuit that could be expanded to include additional plaintiffs, similar to a class-action suit.
That suit lists the plaintiffs as Nick Williams, Andy Town, James Bryan Grant, Erin Burgess, Devin Myers, Andrew Barton, Nick Jackson, Jim Pierce, Dustin Morris, Chris Williams, Adam Wright, Dan Thacker, Ryan Galbraith and Robert Avila.
The other lawsuit was filed on the behalf of Brock Crabtree, Rick Myers and Andrew Town, who were senior sales representatives known as “closers” at Angie’s List in 2014 and 2015.
Attorney Kathleen DeLaney declined to say how much unpaid compensation the plaintiffs are seeking. She said the figure could grow substantially if more plaintiffs join the collective case.
“These were highly compensated employees who were very successful in their jobs,” she said. “When you multiply their unpaid hours by 1.5, the damages can accrue pretty quickly."
Brock Crabtree and Rick Myers were also part of an unrelated lawsuit filed in January by Angie’s List, which sued to prevent the two employees from joining the newly opened Indianapolis office of competitor HomeAdvisor.
In a ruling Friday, Judge Daniel Pfleging withdrew a temporary restraining order issued Jan. 28, a week after Angie’s List brought suit, and he denied the company’s motion for a preliminary injunction blocking their employment.
Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor are fierce competitors in the business of connecting consumers with home services providers.