* Overtime pay, no breaks alleged
* Lawsuit on behalf of retail branch, call center workers
* "Hundreds of millions" of dollars could be at stake
* Bank says practices designed to comply with labor laws
(Adds comments from plaintiffs' lawyer, potential recovery)
NEW YORK, June 5 Workers for Bank of America
Corp (BAC.N), one of the nation's largest employers, have sued
the company for allegedly failing to pay overtime and other
The lawsuit filed on Friday in federal court in Kansas
City, Kansas, consolidates 12 lawsuits filed on behalf of
employees in California, Florida, Kansas, Texas and
It seeks nationwide class-action status on behalf of
employees at Bank of America retail branches and call centers
over the past three years.
George Hanson, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said the case
could eventually cover more than 180,000 workers, based on
information provided by the bank. That could lead to a recovery
in the "hundreds of millions" of dollars, assuming a typical
employee was deprived of $1,000 to $2,000 in pay, he said.
According to the 44-page complaint, the largest U.S. bank
by assets requires employees to work in excess of eight hours a
day or 40 hours a week, yet fails to pay them both for overtime
and for all straight time worked.
The complaint also accuses Bank of America of requiring
employees to work during unpaid breaks, failing to provide meal
and rest breaks, and failing to timely pay terminated employees
for earned wages and accrued vacation time.
"Bank of America enjoys millions of dollars in ill-gained
profits at the expense of its hourly employees," violating
either the federal Fair Labor Standards Act or various state
labor laws, the complaint said.
Shirley Norton, a Bank of America spokeswoman, said the
Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank would defend against the
lawsuit, and had comprehensive policies and training to ensure
compliance with all federal and state wage and hour laws.
Bank of America as of March 31 employed 283,914 people
worldwide, and operated 5,939 U.S. branches.
The federal Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in
April had directed that the 12 original cases be combined.
The lawsuit seeks class-action status, a halt to the
alleged illegal conduct, compensatory and punitive damages and
The case is In re: Bank of America Wage and Hour Employment
Practices Litigation, U.S. District Court, District of Kansas,
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Peter Cooney)