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UWM Pays $2.75M To Settle Claims It Failed To Pay Overtime

Christine Stuart
Jun 02, 2022
Uwm front building with sign

Of the $2.75 million settlement, nearly $930,000 will go to attorneys fees.

United Wholesale Mortgage has agreed to pay up to $2.75 million to settle claims that it failed to pay account executives overtime. 

The company last week distributed notices about the settlement, which applies to current or former account executives who worked at UWM between Oct. 12, 2018, and Dec. 23, 2021.

The settlement is not an admission of guilt. UWM declined to comment on the settlement, but it shared the notice sent to employees.

The notice from Allen Beydoun, executive vice president of sales, said UWM is “confident that our account executives were and are fairly and accurately compensated for the work and time dedicated to their business. UWM made the choice to stop spending additional time and money with attorneys, and solely focus on growing the business and the wholesale channel.” 

In that same letter, Beydoun said UWM does not plan to change any of its policies or practices at this time. 

“The litigation process is very expensive, and we would rather see the money we would spend proving our position go to team members, instead of litigation attorneys,” Beydoun said. 

Account executives who qualify for the money include those whose gross compensation was less than $100,000 annually before Jan. 1, 2020, or less than $107,432 annually after Jan. 1, 2020. 

It’s unclear how many employees will qualify to receive some of the settlement. Of the $2.75 million settlement, nearly $930,000, or nearly 34%, will go to attorneys fees. 

The Michigan Department of Labor said it didn’t have any information about the settlement. However, a federal class action lawsuit filed by Annie Haberlein offers some insight into what employees have been complaining about.

The federal lawsuit, which was dismissed without prejudice this March, said UWM promised employees they would only work a “Firm 40,” however, that was not the case. Haberlein’s lawsuit claimed that employees were required to attend “pre-work” meetings called “Dominate at Eight,” but were not allowed to clock in for their official start time until after the 15- to 20-minute meeting. 

“When Plaintiff and other similarly situated employees clocked in earlier than their official start time, they would be reprimanded and Defendant’s leaders (i.e., managers) would alter time records to make it look like Plaintiff and other similarly situated employees were only working 40 hours or less,” the complaint states. 

Haberlein also alleged that employees were required to participate in “weekend plays,” during which they were required to send at least a dozen text messages from their personal cell phones to potential clients they had not worked with before, for the purpose of marketing UWM’s products and competitive prices. 

“Plaintiff and other similarly situated employees had to verify with their leaders (i.e., managers) that they had conducted 'weekend plays' by sending screenshots of the text messages to leaders before the end of the weekend,” the complaint states.

The hour lunch break also was a myth, according to the complaint. Haberlein alleged in the lawsuit that they were required to “answer all work calls if they were eating lunch at their desk; or forward their work phones to their personal cell phones so that they could answer work calls during their personal time.”

In April, UWM President and CEO Mat Ishbia took a shot at its Michigan-based competitor, Rocket Mortgage, for not treating workers properly. 

Ishbia took to LinkedIn to scold Rocket for announcing plans to cut 8% of its workforce, or about 2,000 jobs.

“Disappointed is the nicest way to describe my thoughts around Rocket Mortgage/Quicken Loans laying off over 2,000 of their people, as this should not be necessary for a company that made over $5 Billion last year in profits,” Ishbia wrote.

Jared Fleisher, Rocket’s vice president of government affairs, replied to the post on LinkedIn the next day.
Fleisher, who started by stating that, “Nobody asked me to write this,” called Ishbia’s comments “nothing but empty cynicism.”

“There isn’t another company in Detroit or this country that can match Rocket’s record of philanthropy and community investment and service and overall commitment to its community,” Fleisher wrote. 

“You sir,” he continued, speaking directly to Ishbia, “have no such record to speak of.”

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