This Month Only! >> $20 off and a FREE SHRM tote with your membership and code TOTE2018!
Sign up for free email newsletters and get more SHRM content delivered to your inbox.
Is your employee handbook keeping up with the changing world of work? With SHRM's Employee Handbook Builder get peace of mind that your handbook is up-to-date.
Build competencies, establish credibility and advance your career—while earning PDCs—at SHRM Seminars in 12 cities across the U.S. this spring.
#SHRM18 will expand your perspective – on your organization, on your career, and on the way you approach HR. Join us in Chicago June 17-20, 2018
Members may download one copy of our sample forms and templates for your personal use within your organization. Please note that all such forms and policies should be reviewed by your legal counsel for compliance with applicable law, and should be modified to suit your organization’s culture, industry, and practices. Neither members nor non-members may reproduce such samples in any other way (e.g., to republish in a book or use for a commercial purpose) without SHRM’s permission. To request permission for specific items, click on the “reuse permissions” button on the page where you find the item.
A federal judge in California granted final approval of a $2.25 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit alleging that Bank of America misclassified some employees as exempt from California’s wage and hour laws (Brawner v. Bank of Am. Nat'l Assoc., N.D. Cal., No. 3:14-cv-02702, order granting final approval Jan. 14, 2016).
Zelma Brawner filed the wage and hour class-action lawsuit against Bank of America in May 2014. She accused the bank of five violations of California labor law: 1) failure to pay overtime wages, 2) failure to provide accurate itemized wage statements, 3) willful failure to pay all wages due within 72 hours after separation from employment, 4) violation of California’s unfair labor law, and 5) violation of the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act.
Bank of America denied the allegations, but it agreed to settle the wage and hour class-action lawsuit to avoid the risk and expense of continued litigation.
The deal included $562,500 for attorney fees and a $15,000 payment to named plaintiff Brawner.
Brawner, who was employed by Bank of America for almost 28 years, alleged that the employer misclassified as administrative employees all dedicated service directors (DSDs) at its back-office facility in Concord, Calif, and sued on behalf of a potential class of similarly situated workers.
In an August 2015 motion for preliminary relief, the workers said that DSDs serve as personal representatives to the bank's “major corporate customers.”
“If the customer wishes to open a new account, close out an old account or inquire about the status of a transaction in an existing account, the customer can contact the DSD and expect a personalized and prompt response,” the employees said in the motion. “The Bank did not pay any overtime premium pay to the DSDs because it classified them as ‘administrative’ employees who are ‘exempt’ from the overtime protections set forth in Wage Order 4.”
The court found the settlement to be fair, adequate and reasonable.
“First, litigation poses risks and is expensive, and an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the plaintiff's and the defendant's cases militates in favor of settlement,” the judge wrote in the order granting final approval. “Second, the settlement treats class members fairly, allocating the money to them based on a formula weighted by their annual salary, estimated overtime hours and eligible workweeks.”
The class covered 133 DSDs, treasury service consultants and senior treasury service consultants who worked in Concord from May 9, 2010, through Jan. 14, the date the settlement was approved.
The settlement included $1.6 million for class members, which will be distributed based on salary, estimated overtime hours and eligible workweeks. It also designated $22,500 for the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency and $9,000 to the third-party claims administrator, according to court records.
Joanne Deschenaux, J.D., is SHRM’s senior legal editor.
You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark.
Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark.
You have successfully removed bookmark.
Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please sign in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks.
An error has occurred
Recommended for you
Join SHRM's exclusive peer-to-peer social network
SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies