A federal judge in New York has conditionally certified a nationwide class action against MetLife Inc. over allegations it withheld more than $50 million in earned overtime pay from certain claims specialists since 2013.
The class includes hundreds of long-term disability claims specialists whose jobs were reclassified in 2013 after which they were deemed “exempt” and denied overtime pay. Until then, both they and other MetLife workers in similar jobs handling short-term disability claims were all paid hourly wages and overtime. Afterward, only the short-term disability specialists were paid by the hour and earned overtime.
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In early 2017, former MetLife LTD specialist Stephanie McKinney sued MetLife in federal court in Connecticut. According to the complaint, McKinney routinely worked between 10 and 20 hours of overtime weekly, often from home at night and on weekends, until she left the company in 2016.
A few days later, Debra Julian, an LTD specialist in New York where MetLife is headquartered, filed suit in New York’s Southern District.
Both suits were combined, and the March 22 certification order was signed by Judge Alison Nathan. The actual order is under seal for 10 days in order for the parties to review it and request any redactions for confidential information.
The plaintiffs are represented by Michael DiChiarra of Park Ridge, New Jersey’s Krakower DiChiara and Jeremy Heisler, Melinda Koster, Andrew Meltzer, Michael Palmer and David Tracey of New York’s Sanford Heisler Sharp.