Three lawsuits have been filed in Florida against the old NationsBank Corp., alleging that the Charlotte, N.C.-based company cheated workers out of overtime pay.

Hollywood, Fla.-based law firm Muchnick, Wasserman & Dolin said last week that it has more than 500 plaintiffs seeking to join the three suits, which were granted collective-action status in June.

The suits were filed in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale.

The first alleges that NationsBank misclassified three out of four levels of branch workers as "consumer bankers," or administrative employees, who were not eligible for overtime pay.

The two other suits allege that hourly workers were also denied overtime pay.

All three of the suits claim that the company, which merged with BankAmerica Corp. Sept. 30 and adopted its name, violate the Fair Labor Standards Act.

BankAmerica officials said the allegations are without merit.

"We've acted appropriately," said Melba Spencer, a BankAmerica spokeswoman. "We clearly are a company that is committed to doing the right thing on behalf of our associates. We plan to vigorously defend our record."

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