Tri Counties Bank in Calif. to Settle Overtime Pay Lawsuit

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  • Many banks are still struggling with incorporating new hourly wage rules for mortgage loan officers, nearly a year after they went into effect.
    May 1

Tri Counties Bank in Chico, Calif., will pay as much as $2.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that claims it failed to properly pay overtime.

A former female bank employee filed the lawsuit in the Superior Court of California in Kern County. The lawsuit claimed that the bank improperly classified its assistant branch managers as exempt under California law. The lawsuit also alleged that the bank did not properly pay overtime and failed to provide meal breaks, rest periods, accurate wage statements and suitable seating.

Tri Counties agreed to pay roughly $2.1 million to $2.5 million, depending mostly on the number of class participants who file claims, the bank said Thursday. Tri Counties is a unit of the $2.5 billion-asset TriCo Bancshares (TCBK).

The settlement still requires court approval. The bank recorded a roughly $2.1 million expense and accrued liability in anticipation of approval by the court and estimated related payroll taxes.

Banks have faced litigation in the past over failure to pay overtime, mostly tied to mortgage loan officers. In 2010, the Labor Department revised its job classification of mortgage loan officers from salaried professionals to hourly wage workers. This meant that they qualified for overtime.

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