As this blog has discussed, it is important to always make sure that qualified employees are paid the proper overtime compensation. Whether or not certain employees are eligible for overtime compensation is determined by the Federal Labor Standards Act, which is interpreted by the US Department of Labor (DOL). If the DOL changes its position on an issue, it can have serious consequences for many employers who find themselves facing lawsuits. In March 2010, the DOL did just that and reversed its 2006 decision that Mortgage Loan Officers (MLOs) are not eligible for overtime. As a result, the Mortgage Banker's Association sued the DOL in January 2011, citing an expected increase in labor costs and litigation by MLOs seeking lost wages and unpaid overtime.
Sure enough, the very next month, Fifth Third Bank faced a lawsuit in the Southern District of Ohio. Fifth Third Bank had recently changed its policy on MLO overtime in order to abide by the change in the DOL's decision. Two former Fifth Third Bank employees who had worked as MLOs for the bank are serving as the lead plaintiffs of a lawsuit consisting of a class action with about 350 current and former Fifth Third Bank MLOs. Employees are eligible to participate in the class if they worked as an MLO for Fifth Third Bank between February 11, 2008 and January 3, 2011.
The original motion for the class certification was granted in December 2012. The trial is reportedly scheduled for November 2013.
Many have speculated that this is only the beginning. Fifth Third Bank alone has branches in 12 states and employs more than 20,000 workers nationwide, although the bank does maintain its headquarters in Cincinnati. Doubtless it will not be the only bank to face such a lawsuit as more plaintiffs begin to seek back wages and unpaid overtime as a result of the DOL reversing their decision.
The attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims against Banks for misclassifying loan officers as managers, erasing or altering time sheets or time records, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim this practice call us at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.
The lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have decades of experience fighting for wage earner's rights. We have a team of Chicago unpaid overtime attorneys who focus on nationwide class action lawsuits and work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and prosecute claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Schaumburg and Woodstock. We protect unpaid workers who haven't received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, McHenry Kane and Cook Counties.
Our Libertyville, Lincolnshire, and Buffalo Grove overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers misclassify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.
The Chicago Overtime Law Center is based in Chicago, and represents clients throughout the country who have not been paid for the overtime hours that they worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Chicago class action attorneys by phone at (312) 869-4095 or through our online form.