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Settlement Reached In Merrill Lynch Overtime Pay Lawsuit

The lawsuit alleged that Merrill Lynch required associates, who assisted financial advisors, to work more than 40 hours a week but failed to pay them overtime.  The lawsuit was filed by Nancy Martignago, a Merrill Lynch employee since 1985, on behalf of herself and other non-exempt client associates. (No. 11CIV03923)

According to the suit, Merrill Lynch pays a base salary to client associates, who also earn commissions from the financial advisors they work for.  These client associates, for fear of disturbing their compensation agreements, did not refuse to work overtime nor did they raise the issue with superiors.

Merrill Lynch was also accused of not keeping records of overtime worked by the associates and, at times, erasing or modifying their recorded time in order to eliminate or reduce overtime hours.

Merrill Lynch has agreed to a settlement with more than 5,000 broker assistants who filed a class action accusing the financial services firm of failing to properly pay overtime.

In the agreement, Merrill Lynch will create a $12 million fund to be used to pay wages, overtime compensation and attorney fees to the assistants, known as client associates, who claimed the firm violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, (FLSA).

According to the FLSA: Covered non-exempt employees must receive overtime pay for hours worked       over 40 per workweek at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay. (

If your employer has failed to give you the proper overtime pay or has violated California’s employment law in any other way, please give my office, The Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman a call at (877) 449-8898 for a free consultation.