According to four lead plaintiffs in a newly-certified collective action wage and hour lawsuit against PNC Bank NA, the bank allegedly promised mortgage loan officers a salary of $24,000 per year – an amount they claim was supposed to be based on a 40-hour work week. But according to the lawsuit, more often than not, the mortgage loan officers worked well over forty hours a week, and yet they were allegedly never paid for the additional hours they worked.
According to the overtime lawsuit, many current and former employees who worked as mortgage loan officers for PNC allegedly worked well over 40 hours a week and often took work home in order to get caught up. Despite these additional hours, the collective action lawsuit alleges PNC deliberately failed to properly keep track of all the hours worked by its mortgage loan officers, and as a result, failed to properly compensate them for all the time they spent working.
The wage and hour lawsuit further alleges that PNC made its branch managers complicit in the illegal denial of wages and failure to record all the hours the mortgage loan officers worked. According to the complaint, PNC would allegedly deduct wages from the managers’ pay based on the amount of overtime that was paid to mortgage loan officers who worked under them.
When PNC did pay its mortgage loan officers the proper overtime compensation of one and one-half times their normal hourly rate of pay, the lawsuit alleges the bank failed to accurately calculate their overtime rate. When employees are paid commissions and/or bonuses in addition to a salary or an hourly rate, the entire amount they were paid in a given pay period needs to be divided by the hours worked in order to determine their hourly rate. Then that amount needs to be multiplied by 1.5 in order to find the rate at which the employee should be paid for all the overtime hours they worked. The current collective action lawsuit alleges PNC failed to take all these forms of payment into account when calculating the overtime rates for its mortgage loan officers.
The plaintiffs achieved the first step towards bringing their complaints to trial when a Pennsylvania federal judge granted conditional certification of their collective action against PNC. This means the plaintiffs can now begin to notify potential members of the collective action of the lawsuit and give them the opportunity to opt in. PNC argued that it’s too soon to notify potential class members and that doing so could inhibit the litigation from proceeding in an efficient manner. But the judge rejected that argument, pointing out that, on the contrary, the purpose of granting class certification at this point in the proceedings is to allow the case to move forward uninhibited.
The judge also pointed out that the court had seen sufficient evidence that the proposed collective action was qualified for certification and that some of the evidence was provided by PNC itself. According to the judge, the bank had not bothered to deny that it applied the same wage policies to all its mortgage loan officers, which therefore helped to verify the plaintiffs’ commonality requirement.
The Chicago class action and employment law attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have three decades of experience fighting to help employees who are victims of wage, overtime and tip theft by their employers. We have a team of Chicago unpaid overtime lawyers who concentrate on prosecuting state and nationwide class action lawsuits. Our attorneys work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and pursue claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Waukegan and Schaumburg. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Kane and Cook Counties.
Our Bollingbrook and Orland Park overtime and employment 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 mis-classify 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 Oak Brook, and represents clients throughout the country who have unpaid overtime and other employment right claims.