Newport Beach Patch, July 1, 2014
Terry Boyd and 350 others say the bank deemed them “learned professionals,” so it doesn’t pay them overtime or allow breaks. They claim their work is not that specialized.
A lawsuit over overtime pay, led by appraisers against Bank of America, has been certified as a class action case by a federal judge in Santa Ana, an attorney representing the plaintiffs said today.
About 350 appraisers across the country will be part of the class, including about 185 from California, according to attorney Bryan Schwartz, who filed the lawsuit in April 2013 on behalf of Terry Boyd, a former appraiser for Bank of America and its in-house appraisal firm, Landsafe. Boyd, who was affiliated with the Ladera Ranch office, lives in Trabuco Canyon.
U.S. District Judge David O. Carter approved certification of the class on Friday.
Schwartz argues in the lawsuit that the appraisers should not be classified as administrators, which would exempt them from overtime pay, because they are not “engaged in overall strategy decisions for Bank of America,” such as establishing guidelines for all appraisers.
The appraisers are issued formulas to determine the value of property and do not have the authority to deviate, Schwartz said.
Bank officials have claimed the appraisers are not entitled to overtime and breaks because they are company administrators or are “learned professionals,” Schwartz said.
“While it involves a lot of skill and training, it’s not like a lawyer or a doctor, which requires a prolonged course of specialized instruction,” Schwartz said.
Bank officials have also claimed that many of the employees worked from home, so no one was denying them meals and breaks, but Carter noted the company has to do more to make sure the employees get break time.
“Employers do not escape liability simply by having a formal policy of providing meal and rest breaks,” Carter said in his ruling.
In April, a $5.8 million settlement was reached in a class-action federal lawsuit on overtime pay and benefits covering about 350 “review appraisers,” who oversee appraisers. That settlement was finalized last week, Schwartz said.
In the current case, the appraisers will seek a summary judgment in their favor, but if that is not approved, a trial is expected around the middle part of next year, Schwartz said.
Schwartz filed a similar federal lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase in April of last year. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered that case to mediation.
–City News Service
Bryan Schwartz and team are stellar professionals. I worked really closely with Renato Flores. He was patient and showed a lot of care and rigor in explaining the ins and out to me and the practical advice he shared was outstanding. Bryan is well connected…
Exceptional people, powerful advocates, tough negotiators. Bryan Schwartz and senior associate Jane Mackie truly care about fairness and justice. Their hard work, attention to detail, and the time and responsiveness they devoted to all my questions let me know in a hundred ways that they…
I cannot say enough GREAT things about Bryan Schwartz Law, P.C. -- and in particular, former paralegal Devin Stuzin. I was recently part of a large class-action settlement -- one the firm tenaciously pursued for a whopping 17 years before getting a record settlement on…
Best people they took my case right a way and fought and win my case best lawyers in bay-area love you all
I was a member of the Doering Meyer class action lawsuit versus the State Department. Bryan Schwartz is a very tenacious and outstanding attorney. When this law firm first contacted me about the case, I was skeptical about their ability to win a case against…
Bryan Schwartz Law, P.C., is a leading employment rights law firm in the United States with a global reach. His is a legal practice of conscientiousness and virtue. Labor law protects a most fundamental right of citizenship and civic engagement. Worker rights are human rights.…
A great team, who kept me informed every step of the way along a many year path to winning a successful class action case.
The staff at this firm are very professional, responsive, friendly, and effective. They persevere for years to get results. I highly recommend them.
Amazing experience with communication and handling of this massive case; I appreciate the help and resolution.
I had a great experience with the firm. They represented me and others in a case that lasted for several years, yet I always knew who to contact and they were always responsive and professional, even as more junior team members transitioned over the years.…
Submit an inquiry to have Bryan Schwartz Law, P.C. evaluate your situation.
*Your submission of an intake request form does not guarantee that Bryan Schwartz Law, P.C. will take your case or provide legal advice. You must be offered and sign a representation agreement with the firm before you will receive any legal advice.
How did we do?
Note: Your review may be shared publicly.