Many mortgage loan underwriters are not paid for overtime. This is a direct violation of a 2009 court ruling in which loan underwriters were held to be “non-exempt” employees, meaning employers must pay them time-and-a-half for any time they work more than 40 hours per week.
If you’re a mortgage loan underwriter who is not paid overtime, you deserve to be compensated for every cent you were wrongly denied. The Connecticut mortgage underwriter lawyers at Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore can help you fight for what’s owed to you. We have experience fighting for the rights of Connecticut employees. Fill out our online form today so we can review your circumstances.
We can represent mortgage underwriters throughout Connecticut, including in Milford, New Haven, Stamford, and Bridgeport. We are based in Hartford.
Mortgage Loan Underwriters and the Administrative Exemption
Employees must be paid for all hours they work, under federal and Connecticut wage and hour law. They must also be paid overtime, or one and a half times their normal pay, for any hours over 40 worked in a week.
However, there are a few exemptions to the law that allow employers to pay employees on a salary basis without overtime if the employee’s job duties meet certain criteria. One of those, the administrative exemption, is often claimed by employers of mortgage loan underwriters. The criteria for the administrative exemption can be met if the mortgage underwriter:
Earns at least $475 per week on a salary basis;
Has a primary duty that consists of office or other non-manual work that directly relates to the management or general business operations of his or her employer or the employer’s customers;
Exercises discretion and independent judgment over matters of significance.
All the above criteria must be met for the mortgage loan underwriter to be exempt. Many employers misapply the administrative exemption to loan underwriters to avoid paying overtime.
Misapplication of Exemption to Connecticut Loan Underwriters
Mortgage loan underwriters evaluate mortgage applications to determine whether the applicants are creditworthy, and what level of risk they might carry. Needless to say, they primarily work in offices and they do not perform manual labor, and frequently make more than $475 per week. Employers argue that they exercise enough discretion and independent judgment to qualify for the administrative exemption.
However, the Second Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, which includes Connecticut, has spoken directly on this matter in Davis v. Morgan, and has decided that loan underwriters are not exempt because their jobs do not meet the requirement that the primary duty must relate to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customer.
Loans are one of the major products of banks, financial institutions and other employers of mortgage loan underwriters. Loan underwriters help create these products. Businesses can be basically divided into the production side and the operations side. For the administrative exemption to apply, the employee must be on the operations side.
However, since loan underwriters’ work relates to the products (i.e., the loans), they are on the production side. The Second Circuit, therefore, ruled that the administrative exemption does not apply to loan underwriters.
Damages for Connecticut Loan Underwriters Denied Overtime
The Davis opinion was written in 2009, but that hasn’t stopped some employers from improperly denying loan underwriters overtime pay. If a company has not paid a mortgage underwriter overtime — time-and-a-half — for some time, it owes the employee back pay for all the hours he or she worked.
Being fired or laid off, or moving on from the company does not excuse the employer’s obligation to pay. If you worked as a loan underwriter and were not paid overtime, you can still seek to be properly compensated.
Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore | Hartford Attorney for Mortgage Underwriters
Mortgage loan underwriters deserve to be paid overtime for time worked over 40 hours per week. If you work as one and are not paid overtime, contact the Hartford mortgage underwriter lawyers at Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore. We’ll fight for what’s owed to you. Fill out our online form so we can examine the details of your potential case.