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Overtime pay laws, settlements

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Aug 16, 2005 7:31 pm

Does anyone out there know what changes Merrill made to its overtime pay rules in Cali as a result of that $37 million settlement over claims it was short changing brokers in overtime pay? A lot of employment lawyers seem to think similar suits will follow in other parts of the country, and with other firms like Morgan Stanley, etc. so whatever changes Merrill made in California might end up being more widespread...

The law that Merrill was allegedly abusing was a federal law -- the Fair Labor Standards Act. Last year, that Act was changed to exempt "white-collar" workers earnings more than $100,000 a year from overtime provisions. But that $100,000 has to include at least $455 a week in salary (not commissions) and the employee has to perform at least some "administrative" duties. I wonder if Merrill has, or will, change its employment relationships with brokers to make sure that they either earn that much in salary, or perform some adminstrative duties, so that it does not get sued on this basis again....I know it has changed some things in California but the firm has not said what...

also, have any Merrill brokers outside of California filed their own claims, or contacted lawyers about a class action suit for overtime pay?