TOLEDO — A federal district court in Ohio conditionally certified a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective action against Fifth Third Bank alleging overtime violations. Specifically, a former employee, Judith Kampfer, filed a proposed class action suit on behalf of Customer Service Managers for Fifth Third Bank. Significantly, this the second collective action against Fifth Third Bank alleging FLSA violations based on misclassification, and in the first class action, Kampfer was eligible to opt-in as a member of the class but decided not to do so.
Similar Allegations in Both Fifth Third Collective Action Lawsuits
In the first class action, the plaintiff brought suit on behalf of similarly situated current and former customer service managers for the bank, alleging that they were misclassified as exempt from the overtime requirements of FLSA and failed to pay them overtime. The federal court in that case certified the class, and the suit was eventually settled for $3.25 million.
In this case, Kampfer makes similar allegations, stating that her primary job duties and the members of the collective action did not materially differ from the duties of non-exempt hourly paid employees. The performance of non-exempt duties apparently occupied the majority of the working hours of customer service managers. Additionally, Kampfer claims that Fifth Third Bank classified all customer service managers and other similarly situated current and former employees holding comparable positions but different titles, as exempt from coverage of FLSA’s overtime provisions. Kampfer claims that she regularly worked in excess of forty hours in a workweek as a customer service managers.
Second Collective Action Permitted Under FLSA
The court ruled that FLSA does not expressly prohibit a second collective action. Fifth Third argued that the court should deny certification because of Kampfer’s failure to opt in to the first suit. However, the court found that there was no competing litigation and the deadline for opting into the first collective action had passed when Kampfer filed the second suit. Additionally, the court found that Kampfer satisfied the requirement for certification by producing a single job description that the bank allegedly used for all relevant customer service managers and by providing testimony that the managers’ day-to-day responsibilities were similar. Therefore, the court certified the class action.
Misclassification is often the cause of why employees are not afforded the wages they are entitled to under FLSA. You should call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you believe you have been misclassified and are being deprived of your wage rights.. Our top-rated team of wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action. We will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. There are strict time limitations for filing, so it is important that you call our experienced attorneys today.