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California hits ZipRealty with $17M wage suit

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ZipRealty Inc. violated California labor law during a four-year period by failing to pay hundreds of real estate agents the state's minimum wage of $8 an hour and premiums for overtime, the state's labor commissioner alleges in a lawsuit seeking more than $17 million in back wages, damages and penalties.ZipRealty agents often "worked six or seven days a week, far in excess of 40 hours in a week, and frequently in excess of eight hours a day," the lawsuit alleges. But the agents "typically received no pay for a large majority of the pay periods they worked after 2005," when the housing market tanked, the suit claims. Emeryville, Calif.-based ZipRealty denies the allegations, saying its agents were classified as "outside salespersons" exempt from overtime wage requirements.ZipRealty agents were compensated "in full compliance with California law" during the period in question, Vice President and General Counsel Samantha Harnett said in a statement ...