$6M Settlement Reached in BoFA Meal Breaks Class Action Lawsuit

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Santa Clara, CA: A $6 million deal has been struck between Bank of America (BoFA) and 7000 plaintiffs in a California overtime and labor laws class action lawsuit. If approved, the settlement will end allegations that the BoFA failed to provide one hour of meal break premium pay on days when plaintiffs couldn’t start their lunch breaks before the end of the fifth hour of their shifts.

The class action lawsuit was brought by ex-employee Anton Belevich, a personal banker at BoFA, in 2015. The allegations centered around a provision of California law that requires employers provide a 30-minute off-duty meal break within the first five hours of an employee’s shift, or otherwise provide one hour of premium pay.

According to court documents, personal bankers and relationship managers took more than 381,000 meal breaks after the fifth hour of their shifts, during the class period. According to the settlement proposal, given an average hourly rate of $19.97, the bank’s approximate exposure could exceed $7.6 million, however, based on other previously settled class actions with similar claims, this could reduce the ultimate settlement to around $5.4 million.

The proposed settlement class includes around 7,310 personal bankers, whose title later changed to “relationship managers,” who worked for the bank in California from September 21, 2011, through December 31, 2016.

“Payments to the settlement class members are roughly 22 percent of the maximum total damages and penalties attainable in this case, and the maximum total damages assumes that every single meal period in the record that began after the end of the fifth hour of work warranted the payment of an additional hour of premium, which is a rather grandiose assumption for purposes of calculating realistic exposure,” the settlement proposal said. “Thus, the result is well within the reasonable standard when considering the difficulty and risks presented by pursuing further litigation.”

If the $6 million settlement is approved, Belevich will receive a $10,000 reward plus an expense reimbursement.

The case is Anton Belevich v. Bank of America National Association et al., case number 2:15-cv-09171, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

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