Waterstone Mortgage Corporation II (new case filed 2017)
First, that Waterstone did not allow employees to record hours over forty in a work week. The off-the-clock work causes loan officers to suffer sub-minimum wages and loss of overtime pay at the rate of time and one half.
Second, that the company’s failure to reimburse loan officers for expenses which by law must be considered employer expenses also violates the company’s promise to pay minimum wage and the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Third, that the decision of Arbitrator George C. Pratt, in the Herrington v. Waterstone case, currently pending in the Western District of Wisconsin, is applicable to this case and conclusive with respect to proving Waterstone’s failure to pay proper wages and failure to reimburse business expenses under the FLSA. In that case, the Arbitrator awarded LOs an average of approximately $41,500 per person in back pay and liquidated damages (note that this case may, or may not result in similar awards for many reasons).
Anyone who worked for Waterstone as a loan officer since August 2010 and has not already joined the Herrington v. Waterstone case is eligible to join the case and bring their claims under federal law. To join the case, you must fill out and return a Consent to Sue form to Getman, Sweeney & Dunn.
This case is similar to—but separate from—the Herrington v. Waterstone case. There, the arbitrator ruled in favor of LOs in that case, but the period to join that case has ended. This newly filed case allows people who did not join the original case to bring claims. If you have joined the original case, your claims have already been brought under federal law and you are not eligible to join this case. Your claims are not impacted by the filing of this case.
The complaint is brought as a “collective action” under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson and U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen L. Crocker.
How to Join this Case
If you have also worked for this defendant you can join this case by downloading and filling out the Consent to Sue form and faxing, emailing, or mailing it to Getman Sweeney. You need the free Acrobat Reader installed to view the form.
AWARD CONFIRMED IN HERRINGTON CASE – Posted December 6, 2017
On December 4, Judge Crabb confirmed the arbitration award, granting damages to 175 loan originators who opted into the Herrington case. The damages and attorney fees total over $10.5 million. Waterstone has 30 days from the judgment to either file a notice of appeal or pay.
This ruling is a tremendous result for the LOs who have opted in.
Loan officers who worked for Waterstone but did not opt into the Herrington case can opt into this case by filing a Consent to Sue form.
Complaint Filed – Posted August 9, 2017
On August 4, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a complaint in this case with the Western District of Wisconsin. The complaint is the document which begins the lawsuit and outlines the claims. Click here to review the complaint.
Answers to Common Questions – Posted August 9, 2017
Do I have to pay to join the case?
No. There are no up-front charges or costs to joining this case. The attorneys are handling this case on a contingent basis and will only be paid a fee when we win through a settlement or final judgment. And, under both the federal and state wage-and-hour law, when plaintiffs win an overtime case, defendants must pay the plaintiffs’ costs and attorneys’ fees.
Which employees can be part of this lawsuit?
All loan originators (sometimes called loan officers) who worked for Waterstone at any time since August 2010 eligible to join the case and bring their claims under federal law. Waterstone may assert a statute of limitations defense for claims for wages going back more than 3 years, however, the validity of any such defense has not been determined. To join the case, you must fill out and return a Consent to Sue form.
What work locations are covered in this case?
The lawsuit covers claims for LOs throughout the country under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
How do I join the case?
You can affirmatively join the case by submitting a completed Consent to Sue form to us. Once we receive your Consent to Sue form we will file it with the court. Click here for the Consent to Sue form.
What damages are sought?
Damages sought under the FLSA include the minimum wage for all hours worked in each pay week where the wages paid did not amount to $7.25 per hour worked, overtime premium pay at time and one half for all hours over 40 in a week, time and one half premium pay on commission earnings, expense reimbursement for the weeks in which expenses resulted in sub-minimum wage pay, and equal amount of liquidated damages, attorneys’ fees, and any costs of litigation the case.
How far back can claims be made?
Generally, the practices complained of began in August 2010. Under the FLSA, you are generally entitled to make claims for the period extending back three years from the date your Consent to Sue Form is filed in Court. This three-year period is called the “statute of limitation” However, there are many reasons why a statute of limitation may itself be limited due to the employer’s conduct.
Can I wait to file my Consent to Sue form?
You are not part of the case until your Consent to Sue form is returned to the plaintiffs’ attorneys and then filed with the Court. If you delay in filing the Consent to Sue, part or all of your FLSA claims may be barred by the “statute of limitation.”
Can Waterstone fire me or take action against me for joining the case?
The law prohibits retaliation for joining an overtime lawsuit. If any employee suffered retaliation, Waterstone could be liable for at least double the injury caused to the employee, and possibly additional damages such as punitive damages. Notify us immediately if you think any retaliation has occurred. Retaliation is rare in minimum wage and overtime cases, because an employer can suffer such serious penalties.
Can Waterstone contact me about this case?
Employers are generally permitted to contact unrepresented employees about a case, that is, until they have filed a consent to sue. Nevertheless, employers and their attorneys make it a regular practice to speak with current employees. Even though they are not permitted to do so, employers and their counsel have in many cases tried to discourage employees from joining wage hour cases. And they have tried to get employees to make a statement that can later harm their ability to join a lawsuit or otherwise interfere with their claims. Here are the rules for employer attorney contact with employees about a case: First, employers’ attorneys should advise employees that they should secure their own counsel before speaking with the attorney. Attorneys for the employer may not give employees legal advice. Employers’ attorneys are not permitted to give false or misleading information about a case. They are required to inform an employee that they represent the company and that the employee is not required to give a statement. Statements that employees give to employers or their lawyers are generally sought to defend the company against the suit seeking back wages the company may owe its employees, including wages owed to the employee giving the statement. Getman, Sweeney & Dunn strongly believes that employees who may have back wage claims should not give statements to an employer or its attorneys without receiving legal advice first. If you are asked to provide information or give a statement, you can contact Getman, Sweeney & Dunn immediately. The call is free and confidential.