Three nonexempt bank tellers filed a wage-and-hour class-action lawsuit against Bank of America in 2009. They claimed that BOA required them to work before and after their shifts without pay. The employees also alleged that BOA did not pay them overtime. They said that if they worked more than 40 hours in a week, BOA provided “comp time” instead.
BOA agreed to settle these claims by paying the current class of 240 plaintiffs $73 million, which includes attorney’s fees and payroll taxes. Approximately 185,000 more employees are eligible to opt into the settlement or they may file separate lawsuits. Individual plaintiffs will receive at least $20 in the settlement and an additional amount to be determined separately.
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) generally requires employers to pay nonexempt workers for all hours worked, and to pay overtime for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. The FLSA allows public sector (i.e., government) employers to substitute compensatory time for overtime pay, but does not permit private employers, such as BOA, to do the same. Despite this long-standing law, these mistakes unfortunately continue to occur.