Many companies require managerial approval for an employee to work overtime. This is because, under state and federal labor law, employers are required to pay workers a premium compensation of one and one-half times their normal hourly rate for all time spent working after eight hours a day or forty hours a week. Because large companies are all about the bottom line and are hesitant to pay the higher overtime rate, many of them have strict policies regarding overtime approval.
On the other hand, if companies don’t want to pay for their employees to work extra hours, they need to take that into account when assigning workloads. According to a recent class action wage and hour lawsuit against JP Morgan Chase Bank, the company allegedly placed unrealistic workloads and quotas on its employees that could not be attained by working a standard forty-hour workweek.
Because the bank allegedly also had strict regulations on overtime approval, employees were allegedly forced to work through their meal and rest breaks in order to get everything done.
The class action wage and hour lawsuit was filed in California, which has its own overtime laws, in addition to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. All companies conducting business in the United States need to be sure to abide by both local and federal labor laws.
Under California labor law, for every four hours of work, all hourly nonexempt employees are entitled to one paid uninterrupted rest break lasting at least ten minutes. For every five hours spent working, all employees are entitled to an unpaid, uninterrupted meal break of at least half an hour. For every day an employee does not take one of these breaks for any reason, she is entitled to one hour’s worth of wages, in addition to all wages earned that day.
According to the recent wage and hour class action lawsuit, JP Morgan allegedly placed workloads and quotas on employees that were so heavy that they were required to work through their breaks. When the employees did work through their breaks, they were allegedly not paid the proper compensation for missed breaks as required by California labor law.
The two lead plaintiffs filed the lawsuit on behalf of themselves and all other current and former employees of JP Morgan Chase who were also forced to work through their meal and rest breaks without compensation. These definitions cover more than 800 current and former employees, all of whom will receive some compensation if the courts finalize a settlement.
JP Morgan Chase has recently offered to settle the lawsuit outside of court for $950,000. If the court approves the settlement, each of the hundreds of class members will receive compensation for unpaid wages, and JP Morgan will also cover a portion of their legal fees and costs.
Settling a lawsuit outside of court is frequently a faster way to resolve the issue. It ensures the dispute won’t drag on through the courts for years, racking up legal expenses on both sides. It also gives the defendant a chance to save face because it can escape conviction and continue to deny having done anything illegal as part of the settlement agreement. When approving a settlement, the court’s job is to make sure the agreement is fair to both sides.The Chicago overtime lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims against banks and mortgage brokers for requiring too heavy of a work load, erasing or altering time sheets or time records, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, failing to pay for time spent on breaks, 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.