Appraisers at JPMorgan Chase filed a class and collective action suit this week seeking to recover millions of dollars in unpaid wages based on the financial services giant’s practice of misclassifying these employees as “exempt” from overtime pay, among other violations of California and federal law. Appraisers are responsible to check home valuations for home loans sold by JPMorgan Chase using certain well-defined criteria. The Appraisers allege that they are held to strict production standards and must follow detailed internal guidelines with every appraisal, placing them squarely outside of the so-called “white collar” exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act and California wage and hour protections.
“The company finally made us hourly employees this past summer,” said Mary Ann Adlao of San Ramon, California, one of the lead plaintiffs in the suit, “but they did not repay us for unpaid overtime and other owed wages for all the years we have worked for the company and its predecessors while we were misclassified.” “It’s just another example of a giant bank cutting corners at the expense of its employees,” Adlao continued.
The lawsuit, filed in the San Francisco-based U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges that Adlao and co-plaintiff Marian Williams have worked for Chase and a mortgage subsidiary, EMC Mortgage, and its predecessors in interest, Bear Stearns and Encore Credit Corporation, for well over forty hours per week and eight hours a day without overtime pay and meal and rest period premiums. The suit also alleges the employees, who worked in California and Arizona, were deprived of itemized wage statements and denied certain reimbursements, both required under California law.
“Given the recent court precedents emphasizing that production employees are non-exempt, and the company’s own implicit admission that the employees were misclassified – when Chase recently made them hourly – we are confident that these Appraisers are entitled to the back wages and other relief sought in the Complaint,” said Bryan Schwartz, whose firm, Bryan Schwartz Law (www.BryanSchwartzLaw.com) represents the plaintiffs. “We look forward to bringing Chase’s practices to light and recovering the wages that our clients and their co-workers earned but were not paid,” said Schwartz.
For more information about this case, Adlao, et al. v. JPMorgan Chase & Co., et al. (Case No. Civ-10-4508 EMC), please contact Bryan Schwartz Law.