Merrill settles unpaid-OT suit for $12M

Lawsuit filed on behalf of a potential class of 12,000 client associates seeking compensation for unpaid overtime work between 2010 and 2012

By Andrew Osterland

Feb 24, 2013 @ 12:01 am (Updated 6:35 pm) EST

Bloomberg

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has settled a lawsuit filed on behalf of a potential class of 12,000 client associates seeking compensation for unpaid overtime work between 2010 and 2012.

The $12 million settlement was reached this month, BofA confirmed.

“We think this is a good result and we commend our clients for coming forward,” said lead plaintiff's attorney Jennifer Schoen Gilbert of Stowell & Friedman Ltd.

Client associates support Merrill Lynch financial advisers in operations and developing new business. The plaintiffs argued that they were paid overtime based on an “incorrect and low regular rate of pay,” and that Merrill failed to keep accurate accounts of the overtime hours worked by associates, according to court filings.

There are five classes of potential claimants — four state classes in Maryland, Washington, New York and California, and a fifth federal class that covers all claimants not working with Merrill in one of those states.

It's unclear how large the claimant group will be, as the federal case is an opt-in lawsuit. The amount recovered by individual claimants, the majority of whom are women, will be based on a formula that takes into account associates' individual circumstances and work experience.

BofA spokesman Bill Haldin declined to comment further.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York will now review the settlement.

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