Last week we wrote about a successful lawsuit brought by PNC Bank mortgage loan officers. This week it is the banks assistant managers who are cashing in. Both lawsuits were brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and involved unpaid overtime claims.
Now that the case has settled, several hundred assistant branch managers will be receiving a total of $6 million. The average check per manager is $2000. Not a bad way to start the new year. More importantly, the managers will be properly compensated going forward for the hours they work.
PNC is a Pennsylvania based bank with branches in many states. Two assistant bank branch managers started the lawsuit in Chicago in November 2015. Both claimed they were improperly denied overtime. The two claimed that they and other assistant managers had worked as many as 60 hours per week but were only paid for 40.
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires most workers to receive time and one half pay for all hours above 40 worked in a 7 day period. There are exemptions for certain professions such as truck drivers but none for bankers. There is a general exemption for managers but that didn’t apply either.
To be exempt as a manager, one must truly be a manager. That usually includes the ability to hire and fire. Here, both claimed they mostly performed teller duties.
After the suit was filed, a federal judge certified the case as a collective (class) action. That allowed other branch assistant managers to join.
The settlement gives each manager approximately 81% of their lost wages since November 2012. The two people who originally filed the case will receive an extra $12,500 for serving as the class representative.
Federal overtime claims are on the rise. Many companies improperly misclassify workers as “exempt.” Simply because you are salaried, deemed to be a professional or a manager doesn’t matter. The FLSA looks to one’s actual job duties and not the employer’s job title.
We frequently see many supervisors labeled as “managers.” We also see mortgage loan officers labeled as salaried even though much of their pay is commission based. Some employers try to skirt federal overtime laws by calling workers “independent contractors.” In one case, rental car workers were told they were exempt professionals simply because they were required to wear a tie!
FLSA and Wage Theft Claims
Employers that refuse to pay minimum wage or overtime wages are guilty of wage theft. Under the FLSA, workers are entitled to double back pay and legal fees. They are also protected against retaliation.
Some of the most egregious overtime violations occur in the financial services industry. If you think you may be entitled to overtime, contact us for a confidential assessment of your case. All consultations are confidential and without cost.
MahanyLaw – America’s Wage Theft FLSA Lawyers – Protecting Workers Nationwide