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Go Daddy employee class action dismissed

Kevin Murphy, March 25, 2011, 23:11:01 (UTC), Domain Registrars

A class action lawsuit alleging that Go Daddy committed “wage theft”, filed by a disgruntled former call center worker, has been dismissed by an Arizona court.

While the plaintiffs have been given leave to amend their complaint, they’ve parted ways with their lawyers after a disagreement, which suggests the case may be on shaky ground.

I reported on the filing of the suit for The Register last May, and followed it up with a tangential blog post here.

The lead plaintiff, Toby Harris, claims he was fired after just a couple of months as a Go Daddy sales/support call center guy after he questioned why some of his commissions had been withheld.

His manager had apparently rated his work below a certain performance threshold, meaning he lost out on over $1,300 of bonuses in his first month. Harris said this was arbitrary and unfair.

He was then fired after, according to his termination letter, breaking security protocol by failing to sufficiently validate a customer’s identity. Harris said he was fired because he was a “whistleblower”.

Four other former Go Daddy employees are named plaintiffs in the class action, which alleges that by treating commissions as discretionary bonuses, Go Daddy has avoided paying its call center staff legally owed overtime wages.

But a few weeks ago, the judge in the District Court where the case is being heard dismissed the complaint (pdf) on the grounds that it did not assert enough facts to support its claims.

While the judge gave plaintiffs the opportunity to re-file the complaint, their lawyers evidently decided it was not worth it. They withdrew from the case.

Judging by a court filing the lawyers made last week (pdf), and several claims made by Harris on the gripe site NoDaddy.com, it was not an amicable split. Harris now seems to be looking for replacement attorneys to file an amended complaint before time runs out.

The thread on the NoDaddy forum devoted to the class action is extraordinary. Started in May last year, it’s grown to over 1,600 posts, the majority of which are rants written by Harris, often addressing Go Daddy CEO Bob Parsons directly and in personal terms.

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Comments (12)

  1. Batfan says:

    There is a really high turn around rate for support/sales reps @ GoDaddy. They are expected to offer level 1 support AND they have a sales quota. If you are good at sales, you either get promoted very quickly or you keep churning out those high sales numbers. If you are good at tech but not good with sales, start counting your days because they will find a reason to fire you.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      It does sound like a bit of a nightmare.

      I often feel guilty when I am forced to call tech support with no intention of buying anything.

  2. Louise says:

    Mr. Harris’ case seems to have a win on one count: wrongful termination, and his attorneys withdrew under suspicious circumstances, because the one win, which was not contested, was certain, from what I understand on NoDaddy.

  3. Louise says:

    Further, crazy as he may seem, you have to admit he keeps NoDaddy page 1 of Google:

    http://www.google.com/search?q=godaddy

    There it is at #6. With all the $$ Godaddy seems to throw at marketing itself, it is reassuring to find NoDaddy alongside the Godaddy results. Outside of Mr. Harris’ beef are complaint after complaint how hard Godaddy makes it to switch private WhosIs to public, how that is necessary to transfer out, Godaddy demands a Federal ID with photo to be faxed in, and if you look under Horrors, Godaddy has cost business after business while its lousy hosting is slow.

    It doesn’t invest in customer satisfaction, just operates a boiler room-style sales force which hook the unsuspecting newbie.

  4. steve says:

    While I can probably see sales being horrid place to work. I had pushy sales agents there. I am sure they get fired if they can’t bring in the sales.

    But the hosting has been fine for me. I guess if you go for the cheapest hosting plan it might be slow.
    But if you notice Godaddy is upgrading everything and I suspect they plan to be as good or better than the other hosting companies soon.

  5. Louise says:

    Is the action dismissed still?

    Judge Snow just put an order to submit a schedule for case management by July 7th in preparation for a July 15th court date to determine a schedule of deadlines for completion of discovery for a trial date no later than 18 months! :))))))

  6. […] Go Daddy employee class action dismissed […]

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  9. Dirtdaddy says:

    Latest News Godaddy tries to settle classaction lawsuit by paying off the ex employees ranging from 100 to 400 $ LOL the action will be certified on Sept 20th TIME FOR SCUMBOB TO PAY UP what he should not have stolen from his employees

  10. Toby Harris says:

    Just for the record the case is still pending and currently in motions. It is not dismissed and in discovery and pre trial phase.

    I don’t know anything about the above statement about a settlement. But agree that they should not steal from employees.

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