A federal judge last week certified a class action to proceed against Bank of America and its real estate appraisal subsidiary (collectively “BoA”) on behalf of its real estate appraisers and reviewers. BoA allegedly failed to pay the appraisers and reviewers overtime compensation, failed to provide rest breaks and meal periods, and committed other unfair business practices. The complaint alleges, in part, that in order to meet BoA’s quotas, its appraisers are frequently required to work far in excess of 40 hours per week, as well as on weekends and holidays, to generate sufficient “billings.” The class representatives allege, among other claims, that they worked seven days per week, 56-80 hours per week, as well as through holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the Fourth of July, without being compensated for that overtime.
The court observed that BoA did not seem to dispute that members of the class were not paid overtime compensation, even though they did, at least to some extent, work overtime. The court also questioned whether BoA had furnished its employees with accurate, written, itemized wage statements under applicable law, and determined that this question also predominated the class. The federal judge further found applicable to the class the question of whether the employer adopted and adhered to a policy of providing rest and meal breaks for its workers, and, under applicable law, lived up to its obligation “to relieve its employee[s] of all duty” during such breaks. And, the court questioned whether BoA had “pressur[ed] employees to perform their duties in ways that omit breaks.” BoA reportedly claimed that because many appraisers work from home, there was no one stopping them from taking breaks. But, the federal judge recognized that employers must do more to ensure that employees get breaks.
Contact our Houston overtime attorneys if you believe your employer failed to compensate you fairly. You can also read additional resources on the topic of overtime pay: