A proposed class action lawsuit claims Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. has failed to reimburse business expenses incurred by customer service employees working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic and misclassified the individuals as exempt from overtime wages and meal and rest breaks.
According to the 21-page suit, Wells Fargo’s apparent denial of proper reimbursement for business expenses, overtime pay and proper breaks has violated the California Labor Code.
The plaintiff says she works as a treasury service associate responsible for handling customer service for Wells Fargo’s wholesale banking customers. Following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, the defendant required its employees, including the plaintiff, to work from home, the suit says. Per the case, however, Wells Fargo has failed to reimburse the workers for business expenses they’ve incurred while working from home, including for the costs of internet, phone and personal computer usage and office supplies.
The lawsuit goes on to claim that although the plaintiff and other customer service employees are non-exempt workers, they’ve been misclassified by Wells Fargo as exempt from receiving overtime wages and meal and rest breaks. According to the suit, the plaintiff and other employees “regularly worked overtime” and put in as many as 10 hours in a day or 50 or more hours per week. The plaintiff claims she’s worked overtime hours “in the large majority of pay periods” yet has never received time-and-a-half overtime wages for the weekly hours she’s worked over 40.
The case further alleges that customer service workers have not been properly compensated for missed meal and rest breaks due to their alleged misclassification as exempt employees.
The lawsuit looks to represent all current or former Wells Fargo employees who worked in California at any time from March 15, 2020 through the date notice is mailed to the class. The suit also proposes to cover those who worked in treasury service associate or similar customer service positions in California and were classified as exempt within either the last three or four years and until the date notice is sent to the class.
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