It's a funny thing: financial advisors position themselves as professionals, sometimes even comparing themselves to doctors and lawyers. Yet, like working stiffs, they want their overtime, too. UBS said it has agreed to pay $89 million to settle class-action wage and hours claims of reps filed this past summer in several federal courts.
According to a UBS release, the settlement resolves claims that the firm incorrectly classified financial advisors and trainees as exempt from overtime pay under federal and U.S. state laws. The stated reason for the settlement was the firm “did not believe protracted litigation in multiple courts was in the best interests of employees or clients.”
The UBS lawsuits, along with others filed against Morgan Stanley, Smith Barney, Wachovia and Ryan Beck, came on the heels of Merrill Lynch's $37 million wage and hour settlement in August. Reps alleged that the firms not only improperly exempted them but also docked their compensation to pay for things like administrative assistants and support.
Some firms reportedly were considering revamping compensation to include a base salary for employees paid on a transaction basis because federal law exempts some employees with a “minimum guaranteed salary” from overtime pay.