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TD Bank Sued For Allegedly Misclassifying Employees to Avoid Paying Overtime

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was put in place to protect American workers from abusive employers. The Act regulates things like a national minimum wage and overtime. Under the FLSA, any time that an hourly employee works more than eight hours a day or forty hours in a week, that employee is entitled to one and one-half times her normal hourly wages for all overtime worked. The FLSA does provide exceptions to the overtime rule, but it is very specific about the types of employees that can qualify for the exemption.

To begin with, an employee needs to earn an annual salary of at least $23,600 and needs to fit into one of three categories: administrative, executive, and professional. Rather than simply allowing employers to label their workers under one of these categories, the FLSA includes detailed requirements for an employee to qualify for the exemption under each category. For the administrative category, the employee must perform primarily office work and provide administrative assistance directly to an executive. For the executive category, the employee must spend the majority of her time at work managing other employees, and she must have significant say in the hiring, firing, and disciplining of those employees. The professional category consists of employees whose job requires a particular set of skills or level of education in order to perform, such as doctors, lawyers, artists, and musicians.

The executive category is probably the most misunderstood and abused category of the three. Many employers classify their managers as exempt from overtime under the executive category, even if those managers spend the majority of their time performing the same tasks as hourly workers. This was allegedly the case with employees working as assistant store managers for TD Bank. According to a recent wage and hour class action lawsuit, the bank allegedly misclassified its assistant store managers as exempt from overtime.  TD Bank denies that it engaged in this practice.

The lawsuit was filed in February 2013 in New York federal court by five current and former assistant managers of TD Bank. According to the lawsuit, “TD Bank violated the … (‘FLSA’) and the wage and hour laws of New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey by improperly classifying [Assistant Store Managers] as exempt from federal and state overtime requirements and by failing to pay them and other ASMs overtime wages.”

Despite holding a managerial position, Michael Puglisi, one of the lead plaintiffs, alleges that he and other assistant store managers spent the majority of their time performing non-exempt, non-managerial duties. These allegedly included bank teller duties, counting money in the bank’s vault, and opening and closing the various bank branches.

In February 2014, the plaintiffs were granted class certification, including a national class consisting of all current and former employees of TD Bank who worked as assistant store managers from March 14, 2011 through the date that the court enters the preliminary approval order. The certification also includes three subclasses of employees who worked for TD Bank in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania from February 4, 2007 through the time of the court’s preliminary approval.

TD Bank recently agreed to settle the lawsuit for $9.9 million. Although the amount awarded to each class member will vary, the average award will be approximately $2,791 for each class member.  TD Bank did not admit any wrongdoing and continues to deny the claims.The attorneys at Chicago Overtime Law Center have decades of experience litigating wage and hour cases, including overtime, vacation pay, meal breaks, and tips. We have offices conveniently located in Oak Brook and Chicago, Illinois. Contact the  Deerfield and Mundelein unpaid overtime lawyers and attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center today at 312-869-4095. We are looking to represent loan and mortgage brokers who have not been paid overtime and have been mis-classified as managers.