Hewlett-Packard continues to be one of the most important IT corporations in the world, but 2012 proved quite troublesome for the company, and 2013 is starting off in force as well.
The company has been sued by a number of tech support employees for intentionally “misclassifying” them.
To elaborate, HP, like all other companies, has a number of employees that work overtime, which is to say over 40 hours a week.
The tech support staff that always gets called upon by customers are particularly prone to overtime.
Logic would normally dictate that whoever ends up working more than their fair share would get paid extra, according to the number of hours.
That means double the normal pay, or whatever policy was agreed upon in the employment contract.
HP isn't being accused of actual breach of contracts, but the charges are no less serious either.
Essentially, the group of plaintiffs claims that HP intentionally misfiled the workers in question so that the fact that they qualified for overtime pay slipped through the cracks.
HP offered no comment, according to Business Insider, beyond stating that it was reviewing the complaint.
Eric Benedict is the representative of the disgruntled HP employee group and hired the services of law firm Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP.
For those unfamiliar with the name, the firm got recognized in 2006 after a successful suit against IBM, which resulted in a settlement of $65 million / 48.7 million Euro.
All in all, the new legal fight is small, in scope, compared to the Autonomy buyout disaster, where even the US Department of Justice got involved, but it is a much heavier blow to public relations and the company's overall image.
There is way to tell how much time it will take for the problem to get solved. An out-of-court settlement is most likely. HP could try to save face by issuing an apology and offering a monetary settlement, or it might take the diametrically opposed direction.