Due to recent guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor, financial institutions should examine their classification of mortgage loan officers and similar employees. Last month, the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division released its first Administrator Interpretation (Interpretation No. 2010-1). In the Interpretation, the Division concluded that mortgage loan officers – and employees performing the typical duties of a mortgage loan officer – do not qualify as administrative employees exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The Interpretation states that the typical job titles given to such employees include “mortgage loan representative,” “mortgage loan consultant,” and “mortgage loan originator.” It also lists the job duties of such individuals as: receiving internal leads, contacting potential customers, collecting required financial information from loan applicants, entering collected financial information into a computer program that identifies which loan products may be offered to customers, assessing the loan products identified, discussing with the customers the terms and conditions of particular loans, compiling customer documents for forwarding to an underwriter or loan processor, and/or finalizing loan documents for closings.
Administrative employees are exempt from the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the FLSA. In a 2006 opinion letter, the DOL had previously opined that mortgage loan officers were administrative employees, and therefore exempt under the FLSA. See FLSA2006-31. However, the agency specifically withdrew that opinion letter in its recent Interpretation, finding that such employees are “production, rather than administrative employees” because they have a primary duty of sales, rather than of …
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Ohio employers will want to pay close attention to H.B. 434, which was proposed by House Representative Kenny Yuko, D-Richmond Heights, last week. The Bill is similar in nature to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act ( “WARN”), but goes further than the federal law in several respects. For example, the Bill would require an employer in Ohio laying off 25 or more employees in any 30-day period to give at least 90-days’ advance written notice of the layoff to affected employees, local workforce policy boards, and certain state departments and local elected officials. The notice period would be expanded to 120 days for employers planning to lay off 250 or more employees. Also, the penalties for violations include double back pay for all affected employees, as well as the full value of their employee benefits.
The Bill does contain exceptions similar to those found in WARN, including exceptions for temporary facilities, layoffs arising from “circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable,” caused by “physical calamity, natural disaster, or act of war,” or where the employer can show that "notice would have blocked incoming capital which might have prevented the layoff.”
H.B. 434 is still in the very early stages of the legislative process. However, because it would expand employer advance notice obligations in several respects beyond WARN’s requirements, it bears watching – and perhaps warrants a call to your State representative. You can stay updated on H.B. 434 by subscribing to www.employerlawreport.com, a blog on employment related matters from Porter Wright Morris & Arthur.…
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