Bank of America and its Merrill Lynch unit will pay $14m to settle lawsuits claiming that they forced financial adviser trainees to work 60 hours and more per week, including on weekends, without paying them overtime.
Reuters reports that the settlement filed on Tuesday night in federal court in Manhattan resolves proposed class-action claims that the bank violated the rights of roughly 9,500 trainees nationwide who worked for several weeks or months in its Practice Management Development program.
Plaintiffs like Andrew Blum of Stuart, Florida; Zaq Harrison of Baltimore; Samuel Jorgenson in New York and Ronni Reiburn in New York claimed that Merrill regularly required them to work 10- to 14-hour days, attend client functions and work on weekends.
They said the work was necessary because Merrill expected them to generate client leads, but that the failure to pay for their extra time violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
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