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IN EMPLOYMENT LAW

AML OVERTIME LAWSUITS

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), employers are required to pay employees overtime pay for all hours worked over forty per workweek. Bank Secrecy Act – Anti-Money Laundering (“BSA / AML”) employees are typically classified by their employers, banks and other financial institutions, as “exempt” from overtime pay, and paid a salary regardless of the number of hours they work. However, these employees often have been misclassified and could be owed overtime compensation.

Bank Secrecy Act – Anti-Money Laundering Specialists, Investigators, and Officers are responsible for compliance with regulations related to the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act (“CFTRA”), also known as the Bank Secrecy Act “(BSA”). Specifically, BSA and AML employees monitor transactions for “suspicious activity” related to money laundering attempts, unlawful monetary transactions, and terrorist financing. Often Bank Secrecy Act – Anti-Money Laundering employees are tasked with implementing compliance parameters, and then monitoring activity falling outside the set parameters. BSA and AML employees may create a computerized system that can automatically track such transactions.

However, Investigators, Specialists, and Officers typically do not have authority to “dig” further into the activity beyond what they report. Additionally, these employees often are not performing solely compliance work. Instead, Investigators and Officers often spend much, if not all, of their time performing data entry and clerical tasks.

Banks and other financial institutions require Bank Secrecy Act – Anti-Money Laundering Specialists, Investigators, and Officers Investigators to produce reports of their findings within strict deadlines set by their employers. Often, these assignments cannot be completed within a typical 40-hour workweek, thus requiring employees to work “overtime,” over 40 hours in a work week. However, banks and other financial institutions generally misclassify Bank Secrecy Act – Anti-Money Laundering employees as being exempt from overtime pay.

Exemptions from the FLSA Overtime Requirements

Certain employees may be exempt from receiving and overtime pay if they meet certain criteria under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Thus, under the FLSA, employees are considered either “exempt” or “non-exempt” from the Act’s overtime pay requirements. The FLSA provides an exemption for employees employed as a bona fide executive, an administrative employee, a professional, and an outside sales employee. Each exemption has specific requirements that an employer must meet to classify an employee as exempt.

Typically, however, Bank Secrecy Act – Anti-Money Laundering employees do not fall within any of these categories required to be exempt from overtime. Therefore, Bank Secrecy Act – Anti-Money Laundering Specialists, Investigators, and Officers may be entitled to unpaid overtime for all hours worked over 40 hours per work week.

Examples of Misclassified Employees:

Job titles of employees working with the Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering, and other financial institution regulations, that are often misclassified include: officers, investigators, specialists, quality assurance specialists, A&R analysts, data analysts, risk managers, AML compliance analysts, solutions analysts, financial reporting analysts, implementation analysts, and other compliance officers. Even employees classified as independent contractors may be owed overtime. There have been many recent cases regarding the misclassification of employees. Examples include:

  • Citigroup’s Anti-Money Laundering Division paid $1.8 million in unpaid overtime for misclassifying its analysts as exempt from overtime under the administrative exemption.
  • Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering Investigators at Regions bank filed a lawsuit seeking unpaid overtime, alleging they were misclassified as exempt from overtime due to their lack of authority and decision-making independence in investigations.
  • Employees placed within Anti-Money Laundering divisions at Citibank affiliates by a staffing agency settled for $1.08 million for unpaid overtime. Class members of the lawsuit received an average net settlement payment of $17,720.
  • Recently, salaried employees hired as Enhanced Due Diligence (“EDD”) Investigators to do compliance and analytic work at M&T Bank, but rather performed routine clerical work and data entry, filed a lawsuit against M&T Bank seeing unpaid overtime compensation.

If you are a current or former employee for a bank or other financial institution, you may have been misclassified at some point during your employment, and could be entitled to overtime pay. Please give one of the employment attorneys at Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP a call for a free phone consultation. An experienced attorney will address your concerns and discuss whether you have a wage claim. The phone number is (212) 300-0375, or visit our website for more information at fslawfirm.com.

RECORD SETTING AWARDS AND SETTLEMENTS

FOR OUR CLIENTS


$19,100,000

$19.1 Million for Tipped Restaurant Workers. (pending court approval)

Workers such as servers, bussers, runners bartenders, barbacks and other tipped workers at a large national casual dining chain alleged they were owed wages. Their claims included but were not limited to: unpaid overtime, spread-of hours, misappropriated tips, uniform-related expenses and unlawful deductions.

$15,900,000

$15.9 Million for Personal Bankers.

The firm was able to recover overtime compensation for personal bankers and others similarly situated at a national bank that operates hundreds of branches throughout the United States. Employees in affected positions claimed they were required to work more than 40 hours a week in order to meet sales quotas but were not compensated overtime for their pay.

$14,500,000

$14.5 Million for Spam Text Victims

Fitapelli & Schaffer was able to recover damages for recipients of unwanted promotional text messages from a popular young adult clothing retailer. The clothing company allegedly violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by sending text messages to recipients’ cellular phones without their prior express written consent.

$7,000,000

$7.0 Million for Bank Loan Officers

The firm was able to recover overtime compensation for loan officers at a national bank that operates more than hundreds of branches nationwide. Employees in affected positions claimed they were required to work more than 40 hours a week in order to meet sales goals but were not compensated overtime for their pay.

$5,900,000

$5.9 Million for Commissioned Car Salesmen.

One of the largest auto dealerships in the NYC Metropolitan Area agreed to pay owed wages to its car salesmen. The company was accused of failing to pay salesmen the proper minimum wage, overtime pay, commissions, and made unlawful deductions from their earned wages in violation of federal labor laws.

$4,300,000

$4.3 Million for Personal Bankers

Even though personal bankers at this nationwide bank were classified as exempt from receiving overtime pay, the company routinely required them to work in excess of 40 hours per week. There are federal laws that help protect workers from misclassification and in this situation; Fitapelli & Schaffer was able to recover unpaid overtime for personal bankers throughout the United States.

$4,300,000

$4.3 Million for Entertainers at Gentleman’s Clubs

F&S represented entertainers at a popular gentleman’s club in New York City that claimed the club failed to pay them the proper wages. The entertainers were able to recover owed wages that included unpaid minimum wages, overtime pay, spread-of-hours pay, unlawfully retained tips, unlawful deductions, and uniform-related expenses.

$3,600,000

$3.6 Million for Tipped Employees at Upscale Restaurant

Tipped workers alleged that a Mexican Michelin rated restaurant with 17 locations denied them overtime pay, minimum wages, and call-in pay. Our firm was able to recover wages for these tipped employees that included servers, bussers, bartenders, food runners and barbacks.

$3,400,000

$3.4 Million for Assistant Managers at Bank

Fitapelli & Schaffer successfully recovered unpaid overtime for assistant managers on a salary at a bank with locations nationwide. The salaried workers argued that they were wrongfully classified as exempt from receiving overtime when working over 40 hours per week.

$3,000,000

$3.0 Million for Bank Loan Officers

The fast food chain allegedly misclassified its assistant managers as salaried workers and considered them exempt from receiving overtime pay when working over 40 hours per week. Fitapelli & Schaffer was able to recover overtime compensation for all of the popular fast food chains’ assistant managers nationwide, with the exception of California.

$2,836,000

$2.9 Million for Tipped Restaurant Employees.

Fitapelli & Schaffer was able to recover unpaid minimum wages, overtime, spread-of hours, and unlawful deductions for tipped restaurant workers at a popular dining chain. Affected workers included servers, bussers, runners bartenders, barbacks and other tipped workers.

$2,250,000

$2.25 Million for Tipped Workers at Chain Sports Bar

proper minimum wage and overtime. Fitapelli & Schaffer helped the workers recover owed wages to the following positions: servers, bussers, bartenders, and other tipped workers under federal and state labor laws.

$2,000,000

$2.0 Million for Bank Loan Officers

Fitapelli & Schaffer was able to successfully recover unpaid overtime for loan officers at a nationwide bank that operates over one thousand locations across the United States. Loan officers for the company alleged that even though they were hourly employees and consistently worked over 40 hours per week they were working off the clock and not getting overtime pay.

$1,950,000

$1.95 Million for Health Care Workers

A New York based health insurance provider allegedly had its health care workers working over 40 hours per week but required they submit weekly timesheets that only showed they worked 37.5 hours. Fitapelli & Schaffer was able to successfully recover compensation for unpaid wages, overtime and spread of hours pay.

CONTACT

FITAPELLI & SCHAFFER LLP


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