Last Friday, a New York federal judge gave preliminary approval to a $3 million settlement of a lawsuit commenced by assistant branch managers against Capital One NA for unpaid overtime. Assistant branch managers sued the bank in March 2014 alleging that the bank violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and wage and hour laws in New York, New Jersey and Maryland by classifying them as exempt employees under state and federal law. A hearing has been set for November 14, 2014 to make a final determination, determine the amount of attorneys’ fees and hear any objections.
It is common for companies to falsely classify managers and assistant managers as “exempt” employees under the executive exemption under both state and federal law in order to escape paying overtime. However, a close review of the actual job duties often show, as in this case, that the “managers” are just regular workers who are entitled to overtime pay. Employers frequently give employee fancy job titles and pay them on a salary basis to make employees mistakenly believe they are not entitled to over time pay.