Press Release: Bank of America Overtime
For Release on April 22, 2009
Class Action Certified in Bank of America Overtime Case
Judge conditionally certifies overtime action brought by Atlanta law firm of Barrett & Farahany LLP
ATLANTA– The Atlanta law firm of Barrett & Farahany LLP today announced that an Atlanta judge has granted conditional certification in a class action brought against global financial institution Bank of America.
The lawsuit, which represents three current and former Bank of America employees, was filed in Atlanta federal court by Barrett & Farahany in September 2008. The lawsuit accuses Bank of America of uniformly and systematically violating the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for failing to pay employees back wages owed for overtime hours.
In October 2007, Bank of America reclassified a portion of its employees from overtime ineligible to overtime eligible during a review of the company’s positions. Reclassified employees were notified that they would begin receiving overtime wages for time worked beyond 40 hours per week. In the same notice, Bank of America informed these employees they would not receive back wages for any past overtime worked.
“If an employee’s job and responsibilities were the same before and after being “reclassified’; then they were eligible for overtime before the reclassification. Therefore, they have rights to back wages for past overtime earned,” explained Amanda A. Farahany, attorney for Barrett & Farahany LLP.
“While there has been a trend in financial institutions to reclassify employees and then pay appropriate or partial back wages for overtime, this is the first lawsuit against a company we know of where they actually instructed employees that they would not receive any back wages for overtime.”
FLSA law allows employees to recover double their actual overtime damages if the court finds that an employer willfully violated the law.
The class action is certified for current and former employees of Bank of America who held the position of Field Examiner, and were notified in October 2007 of their reclassification. However, employees in other positions who worked for Bank of America prior to or in October 2007, and whose positions were reclassified in October 2007, may also have rights to back wages for overtime. For more information about the lawsuit, or eligibility, visit www.bf-llp.com, or call (404) 214-0120.
“Especially in this time of economic crisis, companies have an obligation to fairly compensate employees for all the hours that they work, as stated by federal law,” said Farahany. “Overtime law was created as a safeguard for all employees and our economy as a whole. It not only establishes wage rights for employees who dedicate extra hours to their job, but it also discourages companies from working a few employees 60 hours a week, for example, instead of extending employment opportunities to more people.”
About Barrett & Farahany LLP
Having achieved the largest verdict in the nation on a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) case, the Atlantalaw firm of Barrett & Farahany LLP has proven success representing individuals in employment claims, including wrongful termination, FMLA, discrimination, overtime, executive compensation and sexual harassment cases. For more information, visit www.bf-llp.com.