Bank of America (BAC) has agreed to pay $12 million to settle a class action seeking overtime pay for Merrill Lynch workers.
The pact, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, would resolve complaints by current and former sales assistants who claim the brokerage violated federal and state law by failing to compensate them for extra hours worked.
The lawsuit stems from a complaint filed in June by Nancy Martignago, a sale assistant for Merrill Lynch in Fort Worth, Texas, who has worked for the firm since 1985.
Martignago charged Merrill with denying requests for overtime pay by her and her fellow client associates, who provide administrative and sales support to the firm's financial advisors. Martignago alleged that she frequently worked more than 40 hours a week but that the company failed to pay her for the overtime or to record her working hours accurately.
If approved by the court, the settlement would cover roughly 12,000 current and former sales assistants who worked for Merrill Lynch since February 2006.
Roughly 90% of the assistants are women, according to a source familiar with the case.
"We are pleased with this outcome and commend our clients for having the courage to file this lawsuit on behalf of all client associates at Merrill Lynch," Jennifer Schoen Gilbert, an attorney for Martignago and other plaintiffs, said in press release.
Bill Halldin, a spokesman for Merrill Lynch, declined to comment.
The settlement is subject to review and approval by the court.