Three classes of current and former nonexempt employees who have various jobs at Bank of America’s California branches – challenge Bank of America’s alleged failure to pay them for their off-the-clock work, provide meal-and-rest breaks, or reimburse expenses in violation of the California Labor Code, California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL), and California’s Private Attorney’s General Act (PAGA).
There were three separate cases, which were consolidated by the settlement order. One was filed on behalf of operations managers in California State Court in March 2019, which was then moved to federal court.
The lead plaintiff claimed BofA operations managers had to work five hours or more without meal and rest breaks, which is a violation of the California labor code. Often during breaks operations managers had to help bankers and tellers and answer customer inquiries without reimbursement. As well, employees were not paid for having to use their own cellphones for work issues.
The second case filed in 2018 on behalf of tellers, claims tellers had to fire up their computers and programs before clocking in and same went for winding down after clocking out. Both pre- and post-shift work totaled more than 30 minutes per day. And like Operations Managers, tellers also had to work through meal and rest breaks, but the bank made them record on their time sheets that they took breaks..
The third case was filed on behalf of personal bankers in March 2020 and accused BofA of the same labor violations, i.e., working off-the-clock and working through meal and rest breaks without reimbursement.
The parties settled the case following the recommendation by a mediator, and the court held a fairness hearing on October 28, 2021 and approved the settlement.
There are 20,190 class members (19,895 identified initially plus 295 omitted inadvertently because a job code was not included). They worked as tellers, personal bankers and operations managers.
The total non-reversionary Gross Settlement Amount is $11,500,000, and the Net Settlement Amount recovered by the class is approximately $7,497,202.97 after the following deductions: (1) $86,250 in PAGA penalties; (2) $30,000 in enhancement payments to the named plaintiffs; (3) $84,000 for the claims administration’s expenses; (4) $3,450,000 in attorney’s fees; (5) $54,356.17 in litigation costs; and (6) employer payroll taxes of $298,190.86.
Multiple other class action lawsuits filed before 2010 claimed the bank failed to pay overtime and violated other wage and hour laws to non-exempt (hourly) employees working at retail banking centers and in certain call centers. The cases were consolidated in 2010 as In re: Bank of America Wage and Hour Employment Litigation in Kansas federal court and the bank settled for $73 million but denied the allegations.