US District Judge Claudia Wilken of the US District Court for the Northern District of California has given her preliminary approval to the agreement, according to a news release from lawyers in the case.
Bank officials insisted that the settlement was not an admission of wrongdoing and that the company believes it had legally paid the employees. However, 4,500 current and former Wells Fargo employees nationwide claimed that the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and California’s Unfair Competition Law and wage and hour laws.
The lawsuit was filed in February 2005 by Jasmin Gerlach on behalf of the employees or former employees who worked as business systems consultants or e-business consultants at the bank. Gerlach accused Wells Fargo of unlawfully characterizing such employees as exempt from California laws requiring that workers be paid overtime.
Under the terms of the settlement, the employees will be entitled to monetary payments, the amount of which will vary based on length of employment with Wells Fargo in a covered position, specific position held, salary, and whether the employee worked in California or elsewhere.