District court determines Meridian Bank workers properly stated claims in OT class action

By Charmaine Little | Nov 29, 2018

PHILADELPHIA - An amended class action and complaint against a Pennsylvania bank has standing, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania determined as it denied the bank’s motion to dismiss a claim about overtime pay on Nov. 19.

Mortgage loan officers of Meridian Bank filed a class-action lawsuit against the institution with Juan Jordan and Cheri Uhrinek serving as lead plaintiffs. 

Among other things, the plaintiffs say they arrived early to work, stayed late and even worked some weekends, making their work weeks expand well beyond the standard 40 hours a week. They were classified as exempt from federal and state overtime requirements and instead paid on a commission-only schedule. After Meridian Bank changed the employees' classification to hourly and the bank allegedly told plaintiffs not to record all of their hours, so it wouldn’t have to pay them for overtime. The plaintiffs then sued for violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Meridian Bank filed the current motion to dismiss a count that alleges it failed to pay overtime since June 30, 2015.

As the court denied the motion, it detailed that the FLSA specifically says “no employer shall employ any of his employees who in any workweek is engaged in commerce… for a workweek longer than 40 hours unless such employees receives compensation for his employment in excess of [40 hours] at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate at which he is employed.” 

While the bank argued that the plaintiffs didn’t properly state a claim, the court insisted the defendant was the one that failed to prove the specific details were needed to state a claim concerning a scheme (like telling workers not to report their hours) to prove FLSA overtime violation. The court said the lawsuit meets the minimum requirements as it claimed both Jordan and Uhrinek worked more than 40 hours a week but weren’t paid overtime.

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