Bank of America sued by loan officers over wages 

The market downturn has hit loan officers particularly hard

BofA Loan Officers Sue Bank Over Overtime, Wage Payments
Bank of America's Brian Moynihan (Getty)

Residential real estate brokerages aren’t the only ones facing class action complaints. A class action lawsuit alleges Bank of America denied wages and overtime pay to thousands of its loan officers.

The complaint, filed in North Carolina’s Western District Court, alleges the bank’s loan officers routinely worked weekends and nights, totalling more than 60 hours a week. Despite that, they say they haven’t received overtime pay or the minimum wage they’re owed since at least 2016.

The complaint goes on to allege that Bank of America did not keep time records, give notice of the right to overtime, track work hours or set and enforce maximum work hours. It also didn’t attribute commissions to work weeks, according to the lawsuit. 

As a result, loan officers were allegedly short-changed more than $5 million. 

“From at least 2016, Bank of America systematically misclassified Named Plaintiffs and thousands of loan officers across the country as exempt employees under the [Fair Labor Standards Act] and state labor laws,” states the complaint. “It then, apparently on the basis of this misclassification, simply did not track or pay overtime to Named Plaintiffs and thousands of other loan officers across the country for at least seven years.”

Bank of America did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The plaintiffs who filed the case are former Bank of America loan officers from Connecticut, South Carolina, Florida and New York. They’re asking for damages, attorneys’ fees and for the judge to certify class action status, which would allow other plaintiffs to join the suit.

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The former employees point to a 2010 Department of Labor ruling, upheld by a 2015 Supreme Court decision, which they say allows commission-based employees to receive overtime. 

They also point to Bank of America’s own policies, which allegedly call for loan officers to be paid by the bank in certain cases where they didn’t make minimum wage. The bank pays loan officers a draw against their commissions in the first two weeks of each month. Commissions are calculated in the second half of the month. The bank is supposed to guarantee minimum wage for whatever weeks the officer didn’t make that rate, but this suit alleges that they failed to do so. 

While Bank of America didn’t track working hours, a source close to the plaintiffs said they’d spoken to a “broad swath” of officers who all worked well over 40 hours in a normal work week, a reality of the incentive-based job. 

Plaintiff Russell Pfeffer said for years he didn’t know that Bank of America’s policies were — allegedly — wrong. Pfeffer said it wasn’t until he was notified of a similar lawsuit against another past employer, Everbank, also known as TIAA, that he thought anything was amiss at Bank of America. Pfeffer said he got a compensation check when TIAA settled its lawsuit

The market downturn hit loan officers particularly hard. More than 4,000 jobs were lost last year as sales slowed.

Elsewhere in the real estate world, residential brokerages are facing a slew of antitrust lawsuits that threaten to upend commission structures and the bottom lines of legacy brokerages. 

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