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New Jersey Federal District Court Grants Mashel Law’s Motion Conditionally Certifying its Class of Former and Current Branch Operation Managers Working for Santander Bank, N.A.

On November 15, 2019, the Unites States District Court of New Jersey issued a written opinion and order granting Mashel Law’s motion which sought, among others, to conditionally certify a class consisting of former and current Business Operation Managers (“BOMs”) working for Santander Bank, N.A (“Santander”). To warrant the relief sought by its motion to the Court, Mashel Law was required to present proofs sufficient to make a “modest” showing that the BOM employees were similarly situated with respect to their job requirements and Santander pay practices which allegedly violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). To meet this burden, Mashel Law submitted to the Court copies of Santander’s uniformly applied corporate policies, 46 sworn Declarations signed by Plaintiff Crystal Sanchez, Opt-In Plaintiffs and a number of other BOM fact witnesses, all of whom originate in the aggregate from each of the 8 states in which Santander is known to maintain a branch office.

Santander is a commercial bank providing a full range of banking products and services and whose principal market is the MidAtlantic and Northeastern United States where it operates over 700 branches and employs a staff of over 14,000 persons. BOMs perform varied duties at the branch level including, but not limited to, (a) processing customer transactions; (b) counting and balancing the cash vault; (c) inventory control and organizing incoming materials;(d) placing work orders; (e) ordering and verifying weekly cash shipment;(f) screening, prioritizing and routing incoming documents and calls; and (g) reporting production to the district executive.

In their lawsuit, Mashel Law alleges, inter. alia., that Santander violated FLSA by unlawfully subjecting its BOMs to unwritten policies and practices designed to dissuade, deter, discourage, intimidate and/or coerce BOMs from reporting overtime hours worked while at the same time compelling BOMs to work off-the-clock to avoid triggering overtime pay. Work that is “off the clock” is defined herein as any work done for an employer which is not compensated and is not counted towards workers’ weekly hours for overtime pay purposes. The FLSA defines the terms “employ” to include the words “suffer or permit to work.” This means work not required or requested by the employer but is allowed or permitted by the employer to be performed is work time that must be paid for by the employer. For example, an employee may voluntarily continue to work at the end of the shift to finish an assigned task or to correct errors. The reason is immaterial. The hours are considered work time and therefore are compensable.

The lawsuit goes on to claim that Santander branch and corporate level management knew or should have known that these policies were not being adhered to yet failed to take remedial action to ensure that the policies were enforced. The lawsuit also alleges that Santander’s practices were in violation of New Jersey’s Wage and Hour Laws (“NJWHL”).

Commenting on the decision made by the United States District Court of New Jersey granting his clients conditional class certification, Stephan T. Mashel said, “By filing this lawsuit we seek to protect the rights of BOMs across the country who Santander permitted to work off-the-clock in violation of the FLSA. Sending Court-approved notice of this action will now provide BOMs all over the country who were or are working off-the-clock, the opportunity to decide whether they wish to join this case to try to recover their unpaid wages.”

If you have not been paid for all time worked and/or are not being paid an overtime rate for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek, call the attorneys at Mashel Law (732) 536-6161 or fill out the contact form on this page for immediate help. At Mashel Law LLC, we are well experienced in handling FLSA and NJWHL based legal claims.

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