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California-Based Bank Hit For Unpaid Overtime Across Five States

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San Francisco, CAOne would assume that an entity devoted to the care and management of client funds would be conversant with regard to regulations governing overtime pay laws. In this case, however, First Republic Bank was found to have violated overtime pay laws and has paid in excess of $1 million in overtime wages owed to almost 400 employees in five states.

First Republic is based in California, according to The New Haven Register (11/29/12) and therefore was found to have violated California overtime law when it incorrectly classified various employees as exempt from qualifying for overtime.

The indiscretion violated federal overtime laws as well. An investigation by the Wage and Hour Division of the US Department of Labor led to the allegations, and the resulting settlement, according to the report.

According to various federal and state statutes, certain jobs qualify for overtime pay when a certain number of hours are exceeded in a day, or a certain number of days within the standard work week. Others—such as salaried jobs in certain administrative, professional or managerial sectors, do not. There are rigid formulas that govern which jobs qualify, and those that do not.

In the past, many employers have done an end run around overtime laws by misclassifying employees as ineligible for overtime pay, when indeed they are. Many employees have taken their employers to court over the issue, and to claim unpaid overtime as well as additional compensation.

Located in San Francisco, First Republic was found by virtue of the investigation to have misclassified no fewer than 392 administrative and professional employees across five states as ineligible for overtime, when indeed they were eligible all along.

According to the report, First Republic was found to have been in violation of provisions governing overtime and record keeping within the Fair Labor Standards Act.

"It is essential that employers take the time to carefully assess the FLSA classification of their work force," Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis said in a written statement with regard to the overtime pay laws investigation. "As this investigation demonstrates, improper classification results in improper wages and causes workers real economic harm."


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