Friday, April 11, 2008, 1:51 PM

More attacks on overtime practices of mortgage and loan companies

Both the mortgage lender employees of Fidelity Direct Mortgage Corp. and the retail loan officers of a subsidiary of American International Group, Inc. have fired shots at their former or current employers in April for allegedly failing to pay the employees overtime for their extra hours.

On April 2, 2008, Charles Bazier, a former Fidelity employee, filed a FLSA suit in federal district court in southern Florida alleging that he and other employees were not paid overtime for hours since March 2005. The complaint asserts these claims for a class of all similarly situated Fidelity employees in Florida and seeks payment of all overtime, including interest, liquidated damages and attorneys' fees. The case is similar to those filed against Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. in October, and against First United Mortgage Service Corp. in November. Bazier's complaint can be read by clicking here.

On April 4, 2008, Wilmington Finance Inc.'s (a subsidiary of AIG) lost its attempt to decertify a class in a federal district case pending in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Judge Norma Shapiro ruled that class treatment of the overtime claims of the plaintiffs, all retail loan officers (past and present) of Wilmington Finance Inc., was "appropriate and desirable" rejecting Wilmington Finance's claims that necessary individual factual determinations would render the case unmanageable. The judge was not persuaded to decertify the class because some plaintiffs admitted to working overtime without their managers' approval. While many of the mortgage broker and other financial industry employee suits have focused on misclassification as the FLSA problem, the Wilmington Finance plaintiffs challenge their employer's record keeping or lack thereof. The judge's ruling to permit class treatment to stand against Wilmington Finance can be read by clicking here.

Lack of records can prove an insurmountable obstacle for employers in FLSA cases and these cases remind employers and their counsel to review timekeeping policies and procedures, as well as document retention protocols, to avoid being hit with a lawsuit that the employer cannot fully defend. Similarly, these cases remind financial sector employers that a thorough review of job descriptions, overtime policies, and other FLSA compliance points could identify and de-fuse problem situations in advance of litigation.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

back to top