Workers for Bank of America Corp, one of the nation’s largest employers, have sued the company for allegedly failing to pay overtime and other wages. The lawsuit filed last month in federal court in Kansas City, Kansas, consolidates 12 lawsuits filed on behalf of employees in California, Florida, Kansas, Texas and Washington. It seeks nationwide class-action status on behalf of employees at Bank of America retail branches and call centers over the past three years.
It’s estimated that the case could eventually cover more than 180,000 workers, based on information provided by the bank. That could lead to a recovery in the “hundreds of millions” of dollars, assuming a typical employee was deprived of $1,000 to $2,000 in pay. According to the Complaint, Bank of America, the largest U.S. bank by assets, requires employees to work in excess of eight hours a day or 40 hours a week, but fails to pay them both for overtime and for all straight time worked.
The Complaint also accuses Bank of America of requiring employees to work during unpaid breaks, failing to provide meal and rest breaks, and failing to timely pay terminated employees for earned wages and accrued vacation time. The Complaint states that “Bank of America enjoys millions of dollars in ill-gained profits at the expense of its hourly employees,” violating either the federal Fair Labor Standards Act or various state labor laws. Shirley Norton, a Bank of America spokeswoman, said the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank would defend against the lawsuit, and had comprehensive policies and training to ensure compliance with all federal and state wage and hour laws.
As of March 31st Bank of America employed 283,914 people worldwide, and operated 5,939 U.S. branches. The federal Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in April had directed that the 12 original cases be consolidated. The lawsuit seeks class-action status, a halt to the alleged illegal conduct, compensatory and punitive damages and other remedies. George Hanson, a lawyer located in Kansas City, Missouri, represents the Plaintiffs.
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