Hamidi outlines proposed Intel class actions

Thorn in Chipzilla's paw won't go away

The long history of litigation between Ken Hamidi and the Intel Corporation isn't going to go away real soon now, and in fact, is set to intensify.

Hamidi, who is currently fighting a summary judgement in the US courts following an action Intel took against him, revealed to The Register earlier this week that whether his appeal against the judgement fails or not, he will initiate two class action suits against the firm just as soon as a fresh verdict is handed down.

The actions he is proposing are allegations that Intel is unlawfully withholding Californian "salaried exempt" employees out of overtime pay, and that its employees are suffering health risks.

Although Intel will not yet have received details of these proposed actions, there is no doubt that the firm will fiercely contest any such suits brought by Hamidi and his organisation FaceIntel.

Hamidi told The Register by email: "In the US, according to federal labor laws, if a person has a four year degree [he or she] is considered exempt from overtime pay. With the exception of California all states that Intel has major sites in, like Chandler Arizona, Albuquerque New Mexico, and Portland Oregon follow the federal law, therefore Intel is lawfully not paying for the overtime that exempt employees like engineer and most of administrative employees work.

"As you probably know an Intel engineer works between 20-30 hours of overtime per week in the US. But in California there is a different labor law, which supersedes federal labor laws. In California only if a professional is required to have a special licence like lawyers, doctors, nurses, CPAs and so forth, [is her or she] exempt from overtime pay. Therefore, employees like engineers who are only required to have a college degree or any other person who is required to have a college degree is not considered exempt from overtime pay only because he or she is categorised as "Salaried Exempt".

"It's merely the responsibility of the employer to make sure that employees are properly and adequately get compensated for their earned wages." His contention is that Intel therefore owes its employees a great deal of money in back pay.

"The statute of limitation for back paid overtime and wage issues in California is three years, and that means that thousands of former and current employees of Intel can come forward and claim for every single hour of overtime that they have worked in last three years. This can be... certified as a class action lawsuit."

The second law suit Hamidi is proposing relates to an alleged health endangerment risk to Intel employees.

"Semiconductor fabrication factories use more and the most dangerous toxic chemicals than any other industry." He said that the rates of cancer, miscarriages, birth defects, immune system diseases, and reproductive system diseases amongst fab workers is much higher than with other workers.

"When employees get sick or start having health issues they naturally go to see their doctors, who are usually general practitioners," he said. "These doctors, due to lack of training will only treat these patients for the symptoms, whatever they may be. GPs may send them to the specialist for cancer treatment, immune system problems, or [whatever the problem]. These specialists also will only treat these patients for that particular medical issue and ... fail to look for the cause of the disease," Hamidi claimed.

Hamidi's version of his long and different legal actions against Intel past and present can be found here.

If Intel chooses to comment on these allegations, and normally it declines to when legal cases are involved, we will update this story later in the day. ®

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Intel vs Hamidi e-mail case continues