Wells Fargo employees won their motion to certify a class action lawsuit alleging the company refused to reimburse them for work expenses and also denied them contractually required commissions on schedule.
The newly certified class includes over 2,000 Wells Fargo home mortgage consultants and private mortgage bankers. The plaintiffs decided to file the reimbursement lawsuit after being denied work-related expenses. They also say that Wells Fargo consistently failed to meet compensation deadlines required under their contracts with the employees.
The judge certified the Wells Fargo reimbursement class action lawsuit based on commission contracts with individuals.
“I don’t even think it’s a close call, frankly,” said the judge when he granted the worker’s motion on September 8. “The payment commission class relies on written documents as to when the commission was earned. The plaintiff says by common practice it was paid the following month. For the failure to reimburse claims, it’s whether the expenses were reasonable and used in the discharge of employee duties. We have job descriptions. You can look at what they have to do and decide whether or not in order to do the job it is necessary to do these things.”
The reimbursement lawsuit alleges that Wells Fargo consistently paid its home mortgage consultants and private mortgage bankers two weeks later than it agreed to in its contracts. The workers were told it was because the bank had to verify the commissions.
The plaintiff also alleged that Wells Fargo refused to reimburse employees for required work-related expenses, including marketing tools required by the bank.
Wells Fargo argued that the contracts for the various workers are not uniform, so it would be difficult to put together a class of employees. Additionally, use of the marketing tools is not consistent, said the bank, saying some employees don’t use the systems, while others find them helpful.
Wells Fargo has been hit with a slew of wage and hour lawsuits over its policies and practices recently, including the opening of fake accounts by employees who felt that they would lose their jobs. The bank’s CEO has also recently resigned in the face of the various controversies and legal actions.
The Wells Fargo Reimbursement Class Action Lawsuit is Nguyen v. Wells Fargo Bank NA, Case No. 3:15-cv-05239, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
Under California wage and hour law, employees are entitled to reimbursement of their work expenses. Employers sometimes try to make employees pay operating costs, but workers should be aware that they have the right to ask for their money back if the employer requires them to pay for something out-of-pocket.
Additionally, employers cannot make their workers waive their right to reimbursement though an employment contract or otherwise. Under law, those agreements are void. Employers also need to provide reimbursement regardless of whether an employee asks under the California law.
Still, it can be intimidating for an employee to ask their employer for reimbursement or remind them of their obligation to pay. Workers who have not been reimbursed may want to consider contacting an experienced employment attorney to help them protect their rights.
The employment attorneys at Bradley/Grombacher of years of experience helping employees fight for their rights. Fill out the form on this page for a FREE case evaluation.