Posted Jun 07, 2010 07:26 pm CDT
In a lawsuit that could eventually include some 180,000 plaintiffs, current and former workers at the Bank of America are seeking compensation for allegedly unpaid wages and overtime.
In a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in Kansas City, Kan., they seek to consolidate complaints filed in five states and represent all hourly employees who worked at B of A branches and call centers during the past three years, Reuters reports.
The complaint contends that the bank violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state labor law by requiring employees to work overtime without overtime pay, failing to pay them for all of the straight time they worked and failing to provide required breaks.
A Kansas City Star article says $100 million could be at issue in the suit.
A spokeswoman tells Reuters that the bank will defend the suit and has policies and training to ensure compliance with labor laws.
Lawsuits over alleged wage-and-hour violations and claimed misclassification of employees as independent contractors have been gaining traction in recent years, as courts have also shown a willingness to permit massive employment cases to go forward.
The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave a green light in April to a gender-discrimination class action against Wal-Mart that reportedly could involve over a million plaintiffs. Meanwhile, the New York Times says the litigation followed a warning by the giant retailer’s own counsel that it needed to reconfigure its practices to avoid potential suit.
On a much smaller scale, law firms have also been named as defendants in such suits.