“JPMorgan Strikes $1.2M Deal In Home Appraisers’ OT Suit”
Law360, November 2, 2011
Home appraisers in a putative class and collective action claiming JPMorgan Chase & Co. misclassified them as exempt from overtime pay rules sought preliminary approval Tuesday of a $1.2 million settlement.
Named plaintiffs Mary Ann Adlao and Marian Williams asked U.S. District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong in California to give green light to the deal, under which about about 166 class members are expected to receive an average of about $5,000.
Though the plaintiffs feel strongly that their claims have merit, getting a class certified and winning a monetary award larger than the settlement is inherently risky, they said. The U.S. Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit have made class certification more difficult over the years, they said, adding that California’s standard for meal period enforcement is presently undefined.
“In light of these risks, as well as the expenses and uncertainty associated with continued litigation, plaintiffs’ counsel strongly believe that the settlement is fair and appropriate under the circumstances, is in the best interests of the settlement class, and will result in significant financial benefit to participating class members,” Tuesday’s motion said.
The allegations center on the alleged misclassification of default property valuation review appraisers who worked in JPMorgan’s home lending business unit in the Golden State and around the nation, the motion states.
The plaintiffs accused the company of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act and California law. In addition to overtime claims, they also alleged that the employer failed to provide meal and rest periods, provide itemized wage statements, and cover business expenses.
A Sept. 26 amended complaint also claimed that the allegedly unlawful wage-and-hour practices violated California’s unfair competition law, and sought civil penalties under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004.
The proposed deal calls for a settlement payment of nearly $1.2 million. After the deduction of $298,750 in attorneys’ fees and $25,000 to cover litigation costs, a $5,000 enhancement award for each named plaintiff, a $7,500 payment to California’s Labor and Workforce Development Agency for the PAGA claims, and $15,000 to cover settlement administration fees and costs, about $838,750 will be available for distribution to approximately 166 class members.
During the applicable class and collective periods, JP Morgan Chase had about 49 appraisal class members in California and 117 outside the state, said the preliminary approval motion.
The deal covers appraisers employed in California from Oct. 5, 2006, through Aug. 1, 2010, a period that stems from the California Business and Professions Code’s four-year statute of limitations, and appraisers employed outside California from Oct. 5, 2007, through Aug. 1, 2010, based on the maximum three-year FLSA statute of limitations.
The suit was filed on Oct. 5, 2010, shortly after JPMorgan made the appraiser position at issue eligible for overtime pay. The plaintiffs, who according to the amended complaint still work for the defendant, said that the name of the position they held had changed over the years, as had been referred to as appraisal review analyst and valuation analyst, among other titles.
The suit also targeted EMC Mortgage Corp. and Bear Stearns Inc. Bear Stearns bought EMC and was later acquired by JPMorgan.
A spokesman for JPMorgan did not immediately respond to a query about the case Wednesday. An attorney for the plaintiffs could not be immediately reached.
The plaintiffs are represented by David Borgen, Jospeh Jaramillo, Jason Tarricone and Roberto Concepcion Jr. of Goldstein Demchak Baller Borgen & Dardarian and Bryan Schwartz and Hillary Jo Baker of Bryan Schwartz Law.
The defendants are represented by Jennifer Lockhart and Eric Meckley of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.
The case is Adlao et al. v. JPMorgan Chase & Co. et al., case number 4:10-cv-04508, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
-Editing by Chris Giganti.
When no other attorney would touch my case, Bryan took it on with zeal. Since then, the EEOC certified a class action and has ruled in our favor in every motion the other side has thrown at us. A five-star rating does not come close…
I was fortunate to have found Bryan Schwartz Law while searching for reputable and reliable law firms in the Oakland area that specialized in labor law, and I couldn’t be more pleased by the results they secured for my family on my father’s behalf! After…
Bryan's firm came highly recommended to deal with an employment discrimination and harassment case. Bryan and his staff were very professional, ethical, extremely organized and diligent. They are strong advocates who worked extremely hard to get me a very fair resolution to my case. I…
Bryan Schwartz is an attorney who gives good, sound advice and empowers you to believe in your convictions. I reached out to him because no other attorney wanted to assist me. Bryan has been my advocate for the last six years. He is compassionate, empathetic…
Bryan Schwartz is without a doubt a fantastic attorney. As tenacious as he is intelligent, I would absolutely recommend his services to anyone seeking justice. Not only is his legal expertise top notch, his interpersonal skills with his clients are superb as well. Working with…
Bryan and his team were highly recommended by a friend and another attorney. I reached out to Bryan when I was sick, hurting and afraid, not knowing what to expect or how to ask for help. Bryan offered to help, he and his team fought…
When I first met Bryan, and the team at Bryan Schwartz Law, I was blown away by how understanding, sympathetic, and outright dismayed they were to the unlawful situation my coworkers and I were (to say the least) uncomfortably having to endure and work through.…
Bryan Schwartz represented me successfully in mediating my age discrimination claim against a large employer....[T]here can be few lawyers with greater legal acumen or a more relentless drive to get an acceptable result for their clients. Bryan is all business and probably works too hard.…
I could never imagine having any other attorney on my side when I needed someone. This office is beyond professional and intelligent from the person answering the phone right to the attorneys. These attorneys will fight tooth and nail for you.
These guys were amazing. Just on the ball, knowledgeable and friendly as hell. I presented my case over the phone and I immediately got some preliminary feedback which was awesome. I was asked for more details which I provided via email the next day. Two…
Schedule an initial consultation to have Bryan Schwartz Law
evaluate your situation.
*Your submission of an intake request form does not guarantee that Bryan Schwartz Law 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.