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May 9, 2013 / Admin

California Employees File Overtime Class Action against Chase

A class action lawsuit has been filed in U.S. Federal Court by two “Production Appraisers” in JPMorgan Chase’s commercial lending division.  The suit is seeking millions of dollars in unpaid overtime wages based on the appraisers being misclassified as exempt employees.  The suit also alleges other violations of California and federal law.

chase_branchAccording to the suit, Chase Production Appraisers were involved with the valuation of value commercial and multi-unit residential properties, which aided Chase in determining whether it would agree to loan or refinance requests made by the property owners.

The lawsuit was filed by two Long Beach, California residents, Kenneth Lee and Mark Thompson, who worked as Production Appraisers.  According to Lee and Thompson, Production Appraisers have been deprived of overtime pay, meal and rest periods, itemized wage statements, and other reimbursements required by California law, because they were inaccurately characterized as exempt employees when they should have been classified as non-exempt employees. Lee and Thompson claim that Chase established various billing goals for appraisers, requiring working up to 70 hours a week in order to have a chance to make the goals.  According to the suit, because the appraisers had to follow specific and detailed standards when filling out their appraisals, subject to reviews, the position did not qualify as “exempt.”  Additionally, the Plaintiffs assert that appraisers had no authority to make administrative decisions or to deviate from the pre-approved appraisal criteria or formulas.  The suit could represent the interests of about 150 appraisers who were or are misclassified as exempt employees.

According to federal law, employers must pay employees one and a half times their hourly wage for all hours worked after 40 per week.  There are exceptions for various professions and positions.  California law also requires overtime payments to employees of one and one half times their hourly rate for all hours worked over 40 in a week.  California also requires that employees receive one and a half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked over eight hours in a workday.  In addition, California also requires employees receive double their pay for all hours worked in excess of 12 hours in any workday.

California overtime law, like federal overtime law, is subject to various exceptions.  Particularly, California provides exemptions from overtime requirements for some Executive, Administrative, and Professional employees.

If you or someone you know has not received overtime that they were entitled to, please contact Khorrami, LLP for a confidential consultation.

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