Fifth Third Bank has reached a $4 million class action settlement with some of its mortgage loan officers which, if approved, would resolve a class action lawsuit alleging they were not given overtime pay they were owed.
The proposed Fifth Third Bank overtime class action settlement was filed in an Ohio federal court Thursday and awaits the approval of U.S. District Judge Timothy Black. There are about 520 employees from Ohio in the Class, all who worked for the bank at some point in the last six years. If the unpaid overtime settlement is approved, the employees, who claim they were inaccurately classified as exempt from over time pay, will each get about $5,000 each.
The Fifth Third Bank overtime settlement is supposed to cover five hours of overtime pay for the eligible weeks, which the attorneys describe as “a significant recovery for the plaintiffs.” The class action settlement amount is to be “nonrevisionary,” meaning that the money not claimed by Class Members will be equally divided among the other Class Members, but not given back to Fifth Third.
The wage and hour lawsuit against Fifth Third was filed in February 2011, when mortgage loan officers were recategorized by the bank as eligible for overtime pay if they worked more than 40 hours a week.
This classification came after the U.S. Department of Labor released an order in 2010 saying that mortgage loan officers should be given overtime pay. Prior to this mandate, mortgage loan officers, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), were categorized as exempt from overtime pay as long as certain duties were performed.
The Labor Department said that the previous exemption was never meant to apply to typical mortgage loan officers. On its own, Fifth Third paid its employees the overtime pay from March 2010, when the order was issued.
However, this class action lawsuit was filed by former employees who said they should have been given overtime pay before the clarification from the Labor Department. They claimed that the loan officers were given production goals and quotas they had to meet by Fifth Third, which often required they work more than 40 hours a week to complete, and if the goals were not met, they could be fired.
A class was certified by U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott in September 2011 of both former loan officers and those who have worked at the bank since January 2008. Judge Dlott found that their claims were common enough to merit a single collective class.
In December 2012, the lawsuit was also certified as a Rule 23 class action lawsuit, which included all mortgage loan officers working for Fifth Third from February 2009 and January 2011.
The terms of the class action settlement agreement were reached in mediation in May 2013.
Class Members are represented by Rachhana T. Srey, Paul J. Lukas and Matthew H. Morgan of Nichols Kaster PLLP.
The Fifth Third Overtime Pay Class Action Lawsuit is Swigart, et al. v. Fifth Third Bank, Case No. 1:11-cv-00088, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.
If you or someone you know did not receive all the money they earned, legal options are available to you. Learn more and get a free consultation regarding a claims eligibility at the Wage & Hour, Overtime Pay Class Action Lawsuit Investigation. Experienced legal professionals are able to determine if you have a case. You could receive back pay as well as penalties. Don’t delay — the statute of limitations under the FLSA is two to three years, depending on the state, so act now.
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