Jobs in the banking, mortgage, and insurance industries require a lot of long hours and hard work. Unfortunately, banking and related industry employees are often victims of poor pay practices because unscrupulous employers try to cheat them out of the wages they are legally entitled to. Bankers, mortgage loan officers, underwriters, originators, consultants, and processors are frequently denied compensation by misclassification or off-the-clock work.
Ways that Employees in the Financial Industries Are Denied Rightful Overtime Pay
Common banking, mortgage and insurance industry pay violations include:
- Exemption status misclassification. Many employees who are paid by salary or commission are improperly classified as exempt and should be paid an hourly wage.
- Off-the-clock work. Some employers only allow overtime if it has been pre-approved. However, in the financial industries, it is not always possible to avoid working overtime. Other ways which financial companies deny overtime wages to their employees is by not counting meetings or training sessions as actual work. Also by not counting “runover time,” when an employee starts a phone call with a customer before the end of the shift and continues the call after the shift has ended.
- Rest and meal break violations. Many mortgage employees feel that they must work through their break or meal periods in order to make deadlines and complete their work. It is an employer's responsibility to ensure that employees receive proper breaks and are paid for all time worked—even if it is during a scheduled break period.
What You Need to Know About Misclassification in the Financial Industry
Many employees in the banking, mortgage, and insurance industries are misclassified as exempt employees. The exempt and non-exempt status refers to the employee’s eligibility to overtime. The status you are assigned is determined by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as well as the type of work you do, your responsibilities at work, and how you are compensated.
- Exempt employees. As an exempt employee you will generally be paid a salary which is intended to compensate for all the hours you work in any week. You will not be compensated based on the number of hours that you work and as such, you will not be eligible for overtime pay.
- Non-exempt employees. As a non-exempt employee, you will typically be paid by the hour, for each hour that you work. You will be eligible for overtime pay at one-and-a-half times your regular rate of pay when you work more than 40 hours in any week.
You may be surprised to find out that as an employee in the banking, mortgage, or insurance industries, you are entitled to overtime pay because you are not subject to any exemptions.
You may also be surprised to know that under the FLSA, you are also entitled to be compensated for any “runover time,” meetings and training sessions, and any rest or meal breaks that you have to work through. If these work hours exceed a 40-hour workweek, you are entitled to compensation for each overtime hour at one-and-a-half times your normal rate of pay. A workweek is defined as seven consecutive days of work. The hours you have worked in one seven-day period cannot be averaged between more than one workweek. Employers are required to keep detailed time records of all the hours you have worked and how much you have earned in each workweek.
Legally, it makes no difference whether your employer has been cheating you out of overtime pay for weeks, months, or even years: the justice system still allows you to recover your unlawfully withheld wages, and—in especially egregious cases—your company may be fined for its unethical or illegal conduct.
If you are an employee in the banking, mortgage, or insurance industry and you are concerned about your exemption status, you need to consult a wage and hour attorney. The overtime attorneys at Kennedy Hodges, L.L.P., have extensive experience in representing workers who have suffered payroll and overtime violations. Contact us today at 855-947-0707 for a free, no-obligation case evaluation. You can also order a FREE copy of 10 Biggest Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Wage & Overtime Claim. This informative book contains all the information that you need to know about recovering your back pay.