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Wells Fargo Under Scrutiny for Potential Overtime Wage Violations
In the recent weeks, it has been reported that Wells Fargo was involved in the creation of approximately 2 million fake banking and credit card accounts. Now the U.S. Department of Labor is investigating whether the company may have violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by not paying the correct amount of overtime pay to sales teller employees.
A Mountain of Problems
The banking giant’s problems started in September when it was revealed that some of its employees had created the bogus accounts in customers’ names in order to meet sales quotas. Wells Fargo fired about 5,300 employees and paid a $190 million fine because of its alleged questionable sales tactics.
The DOL is also looking into whether employees worked overtime hours in an effort to meet their quotas or requirements without the all corresponding overtime pay.
How Overtime Pay is Supposed to Work
Under the FLSA, which became law in 1938, employers are supposed to pay time and a half for any employees who work overtime (more than 40 hours a workweek). If, for example, you make $20 and hour and work 50 hours a week, you should be paid $30 for those 10 hours of overtime you put in.
Even if your overtime hours were not recorded, the employer has to pay for all such hours it knows, or should know, you worked. If the employer does not make and keep an accurate record of all hours you work, then the law says you can make a reasonable estimate of the unpaid overtime hours you worked.
A lot of people assume that only hourly employees are due overtime pay, but that’s not necessarily the case. There are many instances where commissioned – and even salaried – workers will be due overtime. It just depends on the job duties.
Also, many employees are hesitant to stand up for their rights and file claims seeking back overtime pay because they are afraid of retribution. But the FLSA provides protection against any sort of demotion, firing or harassment, whether an employee wins or loses his or her case.