PRESS RELEASE

Client Advocates for Bank of America’s Office of the President and CEO Sue for Unpaid Wages (PDF)

Contact
Bryan Schwartz, Bryan Schwartz Law, 510-444-9300, bryan@bryanschwartzlaw.com

November 2, 2017, Oakland – A Client Advocate working for Bank of America’s Office of the President and Chief Executive Officer has filed a class and collective action suit against Bank of America on behalf of herself and others, seeking to recover millions of dollars in unpaid wages. The suit claims that Bank of America misclassifies its Client Advocates, and other job titles performing similar customer service duties in the Office of the President and CEO, as “exempt” from overtime pay, among other violations of California and federal law. Bank of America requires Client Advocates to work far in excess of forty hours each week under working conditions that also prevent them from taking meal and rest breaks. Day in and day out, Client Advocates handle customer service activities, channeling complaints to the correct part of BofA for responses, sending form letters, and similar activities. “They treated us like cogs in a machine,” said Lead Plaintiff Sharon Gamble, a former Bank of America Client Advocate. “We worked from early morning through the night, weekdays and weekends…There was just too much work for one person—dozens of phone calls each day from customers screaming and cursing at us, piles of form response letters to send out, meetings with managers closely scrutinizing and approving every letter, the list goes on.”

The lawsuit, filed in the Los Angeles-based U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, alleges that Client Advocates have unlawfully been deprived of overtime pay and other wages. The Complaint alleges that non-managerial Client Advocates conduct routine duties using scripts and templates, placing the Client Advocates squarely outside of the so-called “white collar” exemptions to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and California wage and hour protections. “This is another example of a big company cutting corners, trying to cram too much work onto the plates of front-lines workers without paying them for it,” said Bryan Schwartz, whose firm, Bryan Schwartz Law represents the Plaintiff. “The overtime exemptions must be construed narrowly by companies – or they will wind up in trouble, like this,” said Mr. Schwartz.

Bryan Schwartz Law has successfully challenged the policies of Fortune 500 companies who improperly deny their employees overtime and other compensation. The firm has previously recovered tens of millions of dollars for other misclassified groups of BofA employees.

Lead Plaintiff, Ms. Gamble, who has now retired, puts it plainly: “It was like we were on a merry-go-round and couldn’t get off. Looking back, I don’t know how I did it.”

For more information about this case, Gamble v. Bank of America, N.A. (Case No. 2:17-cv-08016), please contact Bryan Schwartz at Bryan@BryanSchwartzLaw.com.

About Bryan Schwartz Law: 
Bryan Schwartz Law is dedicated to continuing the struggle for civil rights and equality of employment opportunity and helping Americans from every background to achieve their highest career potential. The firm has recovered tens of millions of dollars in individual, class, and collective actions involving discrimination and retaliation, harassment, denied disability accommodations, whistleblower reprisal, wage and hour violations, Federal employees' rights, and severance negotiations.