Belmont-Naples Patch: Long Beach Men Sue JPMorgan Chase for Overtime Pay

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Belmont-Naples Patch: Long Beach Men Sue JPMorgan Chase for Overtime Pay

Belmont-Naples Patch: Long Beach Men Sue JPMorgan Chase for Overtime Pay

“Long Beach Men Sue JPMorgan Chase for Overtime Pay”
Belmont Shore-Naples Patch, April 2, 2013

The class action suit represents more than 150 people and says Chase improperly exempted them from overtime pay.

A proposed class-action lawsuit was filed in federal court in Santa Ana today alleging that JPMorgan Chase was getting around overtime laws by improperly classifying some employees involved in appraising property.

The lawsuit seeks to represent about 150 appraisers seeking millions of dollars in overtime pay, said attorney Bryan Schwartz, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Long Beach resident Kenneth Lee and Mark Thompson, an appraiser who worked in the company’s Irvine branch.

Schwartz said it is “disingenuous” to classify the appraisers as administrators, therefore exempting them from overtime pay, because they do not have the authority to make administrative decisions about the value of the properties they evaluate, Schwartz said.

The appraisers have formulas they have been issued to determine the value of property and do not have the authority to deviate from it, Schwartz said.

JPMorgan officials could not be immediately reached for comment after business hours. To qualify for bonuses they have various goals related to billing, and the only way to achieve those benchmarks is to work overtime on weekends and holidays, Schwartz alleged.

“Chase has its production appraisers working upwards of 70 hours a week, through weekends and holidays, to meet Chase’s billing requirements,” said Lee, the lead plaintiff on the lawsuit with Thompson.

“Chase is running an appraisal sweatshop, and it’s time that Chase be required to compensate its appraisers fairly.”

Some of the appraisers are “review appraisers,” meaning they look over the work of others in their department and are “glorified proofreaders who worked long hours helping Chase with its loan sales,” Schwartz said. The lawsuit was assigned to U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney.

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