JP Morgan Chase settles overtime class action

Posted on: August 8th, 2011 by Steve Larson

JP Morgan Chase asked a New York federal judge on July 14, 2011,  to grant final approval to a $42 million settlement resolving a class action challenging the bank’s classification of its loan underwriters as exempt from overtime pay requirements.

The financial giant and counsel for the putative class of loan underwriters filed a joint motion seeking final approval for the deal, which won preliminary approval in April, saying that more than 3,000 individuals had opted in to the settlement.

The dispute resolved by the settlement dates back to October 2001, when the plaintiffs lodged a class and collective action alleging that JPMorgan misclassified its loan underwriters as exempt, and therefore failed to pay them the overtime compensation to which they were entitled under the Fair Labor Standards Act and state law.

The plaintiffs scored a victory in November 2009 when the Second Circuit ruled that former underwriter Andrew Whalen did not fall under the FLSA’s administrative exemption, reversing a summary judgment ruling in JPMorgan’s favor. The U.S. Supreme Court denied JPMorgan’s petition for certiorari in May 2010.

The settlement covers employees who worked as nonsupervisory underwriters, credit analysts or other positions whose main job responsibilities are or were to evaluate creditworthiness of people seeking individual loans or lines of credit.

Of the approximately 3,800 potential class members who received notice of the settlement, more than 3,000 have submitted claim forms, and only 11 have opted out, according to the motion.

The case is Davis et al. v. JPMorgan Chase & Co., case number 6:01-cv-06492, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York.