Field offices of the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Labor Department are issuing notices around the country to mortgage brokerage firms indicating the necessity to comply with wage and hour requirements. The notices indicate that investigations reveal significant violations of wage and hour laws. Common violations include: failure to guarantee minimum wage to loan officers for all hours in each pay period, and failure to pay overtime premiums to loan officers and loan processors even if they are paid on commission. The following is an example of the notice sent:
Attention mortgage brokerage firms
The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor has conducted numerous investigations of mortgage brokerage firms throughout western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The majority of investigations of companies within your industry have yielded significant violations of federal Wage and Hour laws. These violations often result in substantial back wages owed to current and former employees. In conjunction with our partnering efforts with the Department of Labor, we are undertaking this mailing to inform you of this situation and to offer you assistance in your efforts to comply with these requirements.
The Wage and Hour Division administers the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as well as several other labor statutes. The FLSA requires that non-exempt workers be paid at least the federal minimum wage (currently $5.15/hour) and applicable overtime pay, typically at time and one-half each workers regular rate of pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek. The FLSA also contains certain record-keeping requirements pertaining to hours worked by each employee and the length of time these records must be preserved.
Common violations in your industry include:
*Failure to guarantee minimum wage to loan officers for all hours worked each pay period, regardless of the level of earnings in prior or subsequent periods. Loan officers are entitled to receive minimum wage each pay period even if they are employed on a commission basis, and regardless of any agreement between the parties.
*Failure to pay overtime premiums to non-exempt employees who exceed 40 hours in a work week. Loan officers and loan processors are entitled to overtime pay even if they are employed on a commission or salaried basis.
*Failure to accurately record all hours actually worked by employees.
For additional information on federal Wage and Hour laws, contact the U.S. Department of Labors Wage and Hour Division using the information or Web site shown below. Calls to their office may be placed anonymously and will be answered by trained staff.
U.S. Department of LaborWage and Hour Division:
1000 Liberty Avenue, Room 313
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: (412) 395-4996
500 Quarrier Street, Suite 120
Charleston, WV 25301
Phone: (304) 347-5206
Web site: www.dol.gov/esa.whd.