Three former mortgage brokers of Washington Mutual Inc., the largest U.S. savings and loan, have sued the company for allegedly shortchanging them out of overtime and paying them less than the federal minimum wage, media accounts said Tuesday.
The lawsuit, filed on Monday in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, New York, seeks class action status, according to reports.
“Because we have not yet seen the complaint, it would be inappropriate for us to comment on the specifics. However, we believe our compensation practices are fair and ethical and we will vigorously defend our company against the allegations made,” said Alan Gulick, spokesperson for Washington Mutual.
Jack Raisner, a lawyer with Outten Golden LLP, which represents the plaintiffs, told Reuters that Seattle-based Washington Mutual deprived at least hundreds of brokers of their proper pay.
The lawsuit accuses the thrift of requiring home loan consultants, as its mortgage brokers are known, to work more than 40 hours per week and failing to pay them for the extra hours when approval was not granted for loans they handled, media accounts said.
According to the lawsuit, forcing the employees to work long hours without paying overtime regularly drove hourly pay below the federal minimum wage of $5.15 an hour, accounts said.
The plaintiffs are seeking back pay with interest, attorneys’ fees and an injunction, according to a filed copy of the lawsuit, reports said.