American Home Mortgage Investment Co. & American Home Mortgage Co.
This is a federal overtime case brought on behalf of loan officers and senior loan officers who were paid on a draw and commission basis without payment of time and one half for overtime. The case is brought on behalf of a class of such employees as a “collective action” under federal overtime law and as a “class action” on behalf of a class of New York state employees under the New York state overtime law. Both claims are brought together in federal court. In addition to the claim for overtime, the case challenges the draw system as a minimum wage violation for those periods in which employees received only a draw. The federal minimum wage law requires that wages be paid “free and clear” to constitute wages and the draw payments to employees were subject to being recovered by defendants. This case is pending in the Southern District of New York.
Review a copy of the class action notice applicable to employees in New York (.pdf 279 KB)
Review a copy of the collective action notice applicable to employees outside of New York (.pdf 214 KB)
How to Join this Case
If you have also worked for this defendant you can join this case by completing this Consent to Sue form and mailing it to Getman Sweeney. You need the free Acrobat Reader installed to view the form.
Posted on Friday, November 2 2007 at 9:54am
The American Home Mortgage bankruptcy filing creates an “automatic stay” of this case pending the resolution of all claims against AHM within the bankruptcy proceeding.
Posted on Wednesday, July 18 2007 at 12:04pm
A confidential settlement of the claims in this case will today be submitted to Judge Koeltl for preliminary approval. If the Court approves the settlement, class members and individuals who joined this case will receive a written notice advising them of their rights under the agreement.
Posted on Tuesday, January 30 2007 at 4:15pm
The discovery phase of this litigation is nearing a close. Defendants have taken the depositions of the 10 named plaintiffs in New York and California. The plaintiffs have taken the depositions of Paul Knag and California Branch Manager Stan Bergum. Plaintiffs have noticed depositions for Branch Managers in Melville and Kingston, as well as defendant’s former attorney John Bauer and various IT professionals to be concluded by February 9, 2007. Shortly after the conclusion of discovery, the parties will ask the Court to rule on various legal issues in the case. Plaintiffs contend that the loan officers were primarily engaged in sales. AHM contends that the loan officer position is primarily an administrative position within the meaning of the administrative exemption to the FLSA. Plaintiffs believe that there is no valid basis for this exemption since the plaintiff loan officers in this case were not salaried and were primarily engaged in sales. Judge Koeltl has requested that both sides submit briefing for summary judgment motions no later than February 23, 2007.
Posted on Thursday, September 28 2006 at 3:57pm
At a conference with the Court on September 27, 2006, defendants’ proposal to serve interrogatories upon all 76 individuals who have opted in to this case was rejected by U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck. Judge Peck found that FLSA class cases were to be treated as other class actions, generally allowing discovery only as to the named plaintiffs. Accordingly, the discovery will proceed with respect to the named plaintiffs in this case. Plaintiffs have already served discovery requests upon the defendants. Much of the information relevant to the case has been supplied by defendants. Judge Peck set deadlines for additional information to be provided. Discovery concludes in this case on January 26, 2007.
Posted on Friday, September 22 2006 at 2:48pm
At the conclusion of the notice period, there are 176 members of the New York class, represented by the named plaintiffs in this action, on claims under the New York overtime law for back pay. There are 79 individuals who filed a “Consent to Sue” form with the Court and thus these individuals are pursuing claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act for overtime and liquidated damages. Individuals who filed a “Consent to Sue” form, should have received a letter from Getman Law Office confirming that the Consent to Sue was received and filed. Loan Officers who intended to file a “Consent to Sue” form, but did not receive a letter from Getman Law Office, should contact Getman Law Office immediately.
The parties have been disputing what the process will be for discovery. Discovery is the way each side in a lawsuit is permitted to learn information held by the other side. At a conference held on September 13, 2006, Judge John G. Koeltl set deadlines for the completion of discovery in this case by January 26, 2007. He also referred the remaining discovery disputes between the parties to Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck. A conference before Judge Peck to resolve these disputes is set for September 27, 2006.
Posted on Thursday, December 22 2005 at 11:16am
Answers to Common Questions about this Lawsuit:
Which employees can be part of this lawsuit?
Loan officers, senior loan officers and team leaders in New York and California may be included in this lawsuit. The suit covers employees who worked within the MortgageSelect.Com Division of American Home Mortgage Company. These employees generally worked in New York and California.
What claims are covered in this lawsuit?
The lawsuit only covers claims for overtime pay under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and New York state overtime law.
What damages are sought?
Under the overtime law, back pay and an equal amount of liquidated damages are claimed for each violation. In addition, the plaintiffs seek defendants to pay for the plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees and costs in this case.
How far back can claims be made?
Normally, you are entitled to claims for the period extending back three years from the date your Consent To Sue Form is filed in Court under federal law, unless a court finds the violation was not willfull (in which case you may only claim for two years prior to filing your consent to sue. Further, the defendants agreed to extend the period for four additional months in this case. State overtime law allows claims going back 6 years from the date the complaint was filed. These period are called the “statute of limitation” and which statute of limitation will be applicable to the federal claims has not yet been decided by the Court.
Do I have to pay to join the case?
No. The attorneys are handling this case on a contingent basis and will only be paid when we win through a settlement or final judgment. When plaintiffs win an overtime case, the defendant must pay the plaintiffs’ costs and attorneys fees.
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 Form, part or all of your claim may be barred by the “statute of limitation.” If you do not return the form within 60 days of the date on the collective action notice (2/22/06), the Court may not allow you to join this case.
Can American Home Mortgage fire me or take action against me for joining the lawsuit?
The law prohibits retaliation for joining an overtime lawsuit. If any employee suffered retaliation, AHM would be liable for double the injury caused to the employee, as well as punitive damages. Notify us immediately if you think any retaliation occurs. Retaliation is extremely rare in overtime cases, because an employer can suffer such serious penalties.
Can American Home Mortgage contact me about this case?
Neither AHM staff, nor AHM’s attorneys can speak with members of the class or people who have joined this case. Immediately report any efforts by any such persons to contact you about the case in any way.
How can I help with the lawsuit?
Contact us about any information you have concerning:
– AHM’s knowledge of the overtime laws
– your hours of work with AHM
– Current addresses of any individuals who have moved since leaving employment with AHM.
last edited on Thursday, December 29 2005 at 3:20pm
Posted on Thursday, December 22 2005 at 11:11am
On December 8, 2005, Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck resolved disputed issues concerning the form of the class action notice and collective action notice to be mailed to other loan officers, senior loan officers and team leaders who are eligible to join this case.
Click here to review the Class Action Notice (.pdf 279KB), which is applicable to employees of AHM who worked in New York.
Click here to review the Collective Action Notice (.pdf 214KB), which is applicable to employees of AHM who worked in California.
Click here to see the Consent to Sue form under either notice. This form must be filled in and returned within the time stated for employees to participate in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act overtime portion of this case. Participation in the federal claim means that you preserve your right to claim back pay and an equal amount additional as “liquidated damages.”
last edited on Thursday, December 22 2005 at 11:22am
Posted on Thursday, July 7 2005 at 10:40am
Based on the parties’ agreement in Court on July 6, 2005, Judge Koeltl has certified this case as a class action on behalf of all Mortgage Select loan officers in New York under New York state law. The class is estimated to contain 275 to 325 individuals over the six years preceding the filing of the complaint to the present. In addition, the case will go forward as a collective action under the federal overtime law for all Mortgage Select employees in the United States. The form of the notice to the affected class members remains to be resolved, however, the parties now will be making intensive efforts to settle the case in its entirety.
Posted on Monday, March 14 2005 at 2:43pm
The plaintiffs have now filed a motion with the Court requesting that the Court certify the action as a class action under Rule 23 for loan originators in New York under state overtime law. The class would cover loan originators working for the defendants during the 6 years preceding the filing of the lawsuit. Additionally, the plaintiffs have requested the Court to approve a notice to all loan originators throughout the U.S. allowing them to join the case by filing a “consent to sue” form under the collective action procedures of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Click here to see a copy of the Brief (Memorand.PDF 581KB) filed by the plaintiffs.
Posted on Thursday, January 6 2005 at 10:00pm
Additional loan officers continue to join this case. There are currently approximately 20 plaintiffs bringing this case individually and on behalf of the class. The initial scheduling conference before Judge Koeltl of the Southern District of New York is set for January 7, 2005 in Manhattan.
Posted on Friday, November 12 2004 at 10:49am
Click on the link to review a copy of the Complaint (. pdf 289KB) which is the document that is filed in federal court to commence this lawsuit. There are presently approximately 8 plaintiffs bringing this case.