JPMorgan Chase will be writing some hefty checks to a group of its assistant branch managers after it agreed to a $16.7 million settlement in a class action lawsuit against the New York-based banking and financial services behemoth. The managers had alleged that Chase misclassified them as exempt from the overtime protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The FLSA requires all non-exempt employees to be paid at an overtime premium of one and one half their regular hourly rate for any hours worked over 40 hours in a single workweek. Employers which fail to comply with these overtime requirements by misclassifying employees as exempt can be hit with penalties for back wages, attorney fees and costs, and liquidated (double) damages.
Recognizing these risks, Chase agreed to the settlement that will result in many of the roughly 5,400 class members receiving $3,000.00 each for overtime claims dating back to 2012. As stated in the proposed settlement agreement:
“Given all the risks plaintiffs faced (obtaining class certification, maintaining collective action certification, defeating the class and collective action arbitration waivers, winning liability, proving damages, winning the appeal, etc.) and recognizing that plaintiffs did not work overtime in multiple weeks per year when they took time off or when there were bank holidays, an average gross settlement of about $3,086 is reasonable in this highly-contested matter.”
The cases are Taylor et al. v. JPMorgan Chase & Co. et al., and Varghese v. JPMorgan Chase & Co. et al., in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.