This blog has discussed the issue of employers misclassifying certain employees as exempt from overtime payments when, in fact, nothing about their position or duties renders them ineligible for overtime. This is an unfair practice on the part of employers in order to make more money by taking advantage of their employees and it appears to have happened again at various Wells Fargo retail banking locations in California.
Bridgette Williams, who formerly worked as a salaried Loan Underwriter for Wells Fargo, filed suit against the bank for allegedly misclassifying her as exempt from overtime. She also alleges that Wells Fargo: had a consistent policy of encouraging or requiring its Loan Underwriters to work more than eight hours a day and more than forty hours a week; denying employees meal breaks and rest periods; failing to provide employees with accurate, itemized pay stubs; and failing to maintain accurate records of how many hours their employees worked and what they were paid.
According to California employment law, employers are required to provide their employees with a ten-minute rest period for every four hours of work, a meal break of at least thirty minutes for every five hours of work, and two meal breaks for every ten hours of work. If an employee fails to take one of these breaks, the employer is required by California law to pay the employee one hour’s wages for each day that the employee does not take one of these breaks. Allegedly, Wells Fargo failed to both provide these rest periods and to compensate its employees for the loss of these breaks.
The Complaint also alleges that Wells Fargo has failed to pay its employees, in a timely manner, their wages due upon termination or resignation. When an employee resigns, the employer has 72 hours from the time of resignation to pay the employee any wages due. If there are back wages owed to the employee, California law requires the employer to continue paying the employee’s wages until the back wages have been paid, or for thirty days. A number of employees who were terminated or resigned from Wells Fargo, including Williams, allegedly have still not been paid their final wages.
Wells Fargo has numerous retail banking locations throughout California and has employed hundreds of individuals in California in recent years as salaried Loan Underwriters. These positions do not meet any known test for exemption from overtime payment and/or the entitlement to meal breaks or rest periods. Therefore, the class could potentially consist of hundreds of members.
Allegedly, Wells Fargo was aware of the legal mandates and chose to ignore them, resulting in an unfair advantage over their competition and unjust treatment of their employees. It also allegedly concealed from its employees the magnitude and financial impact of its alleged illegal practices by allegedly failing to provide their employees with accurate itemized pay stubs.
As compensation, the plaintiffs are seeking lost wages from unpaid overtime hours plus interest, costs of bringing the suit, reasonable attorneys’ fees, and a court-ordered injunction against Wells Fargo to prevent them from continuing to or again entering into these illegal employment practices.
The attorneys at Chicago Overtime Law Center have decades of experience litigating wage and hour cases including overtime, meal breaks, vacation pay, and tips. The Chicago Overtime Law Center has offices conveniently located in Oakbrook Terrace and Chicago, Illinois. If you live in Illinois and have an overtime dispute, contact a Rockford attorney today at 312-869-4095 or fill out our online form.