NEW YORK, June 6 /PRNewswire/ - Washington Mutual Inc. (NYSE:WM) faces allegations by former employees in New York, California and Illinois that the company violated labor laws by failing to pay overtime wages and the federal minimum wage of $5.15 per hour worked, according to two law firms representing the former employees.
In a case filed Monday in New York federal court, the named plaintiffs - Dewone Westerfield, of Grand Rapids, Mich., Charlotte Machado of Trussville, Ala, and Patricia Kemesies, of East Islip, N.Y., allege violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and various state labor laws.
The law firms of Nichols Kaster & Anderson, PLLP, of Minneapolis, Minn., and Outten & Golden LLP, of New York, will seek to have the case certified as a collective action that includes current or former home loan consultants (also referred to as loan officers and loan originators) who worked for Washington Mutual nationwide.
Ms. Kemesies worked as a home loan consultant at a Washington Mutual center in Hauppauge, N.Y. Ms. Machado worked for the company in Modesto, Calif. Mr. Westerfield worked for the company at a Chicago office.
According to the Complaint, the Washington Mutual home loan consultants regularly work hours in excess of 40 per week and have not received overtime compensation for all hours worked. If the loans they handle are not approved, the consultants may receive no pay for the long hours they work, and this practice violates the minimum wage law, according to the law firms.
Attorney Paul J. Lukas, of Nichols Kaster & Anderson, said, “We allege that the unlawful conduct has been widespread, repeated and consistent. We believe that Washington Mutual has willfully committed widespread violations of the FLSA, and that the company knew that these employees and others performed work that required overtime pay and minimum wages.”
Attorney Jack A. Raisner, of Outten & Golden said, “The law does not allow employers to avoid paying overtime compensation to people who handle mortgages and loans on a strictly commission basis. Paying them less than minimum wage when their commissions dip is particularly harsh given the long hours these people work.”
The case is “Westerfield v. Washington Mutual Inc.,” (No. 06 Civ 2817 CBA) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
Please contact Jack Raisner or call (212) 245-1000 for more information.
(*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.)