Public relations tech giant Cision faces a collective action lawsuit over overtime pay

Abel Clark

Summary List Placement

A court has awarded collective action status to an unpaid wages suit against public relations technology giant Cision.

Three former sales representatives sued Cision in January, as first reported by Bloomberg, alleging the company didn’t compensate them for overtime.

According to a May order from US District Court, New York’s Southern District, the former employees alleged they often had to work more than 40 hours per week to meet their goals. One of them alleged they had to “send a certain number of emails or make a certain number of calls each day” and that their hours weren’t properly recorded by Cision.

The order read that since the lawsuit was originally filed, the plaintiffs have received 22 “declarations of support” from sales reps in Cision’s New York, Chicago, and Beltsville, Maryland offices.

The May order allows the plaintiffs to tell Cision sales representatives who held 17 specific job titles including account executive and senior sales representative that they can join the lawsuit. 

Outten & Golden LLP, which represents the three former sales reps, earlier this month reached a $14 million settlement with Cision rival Meltwater in a similar case involving unpaid overtime.

“We are pleased that the Court granted our motion to send salespeople nationwide notice of this lawsuit,” said Melissa Stewart, a partner at Outten & Golden. “We’ve been fighting for years for the rights of salespeople who work long hours without getting paid properly, and we hope that this decision will put employers on notice that they should pay salespeople fairly in the industry.”

Cision didn’t respond to emailed requests for comment.

Cision is the world’s largest PR software provider and employs thousands of sales representatives in the U.S.

According to the court order, Cision used testimony from employees including an HR exec to dispute allegations that it didn’t track hours and didn’t let employees know they were eligible for overtime.

Cision also presented testimony from a sales manager and another sales employee who said that they told sales representatives they had to record their hours and that they were eligible for overtime compensation, according to the court order.

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