Loan underwriters at JPMorgan Chase (JPM) filed a lawsuit alleging the bank failed to pay them for all overtime hours worked and violated federal overtime pay laws. The lawsuit, filed in United States District Court in New York, charges that Chase commonly exempted real estate loan underwriters from overtime pay. According to the lawsuit, Chase employs between 500 and 1,000 underwriters in the US. “All of us underwriters worked long days and on weekends processing loan applications. We gave our all to bring in billions of dollars of revenue for Chase,” said plaintiff Gayla Pickle. “It’s only fair that they should pay us for all that overtime.” Chase originated $34.8bn in mortgages in Q409, up 24% from the previous year and a 6% drop from the previous quarter. According to the lawsuit, Chase reclassified its underwriters to nonexempt status in February 2009 but did not provide backpay for the overtime hours they worked when they were classified as exempt. Chase declined to comment on the lawsuit. Write to Jon Prior.

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