May 10, 2017

Banner Bank

Banner Bank/AmericanWest Bank Wage and Hour Class Action

Kelly Bolding et al. v. Banner Bank,
United States District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle, No. 2:17-cv-00601-RSL

*We want to hear from you!  If you are a member of this class action, or think you may be a member, please contact The Blankenship Law Firm at blf@blankenshiplawfirm.com

 

About This Case

The Blankenship Law Firm, P.S. and Plaintiffs Kelly Bolding and Michael Manfredi filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington against Banner Bank on April 17, 2017. The Plaintiffs claim that Banner Bank and AmericanWest Bank did not and do not pay Mortgage Loan Officers for all of the hours they work, in violation of state and federal wage and hour laws. Plaintiffs specifically claim that Mortgage Loan Officers are required to work over 40 hours a week to do their job, but that Banner Bank discourages and prevents its Mortgage Loan Officers from reporting the hours they work over 40. Plaintiffs seek to recover the wages that Banner Bank unlawfully withheld from its Mortgage Loan Officers, plus applicable fees and penalties under state and federal laws.

Case Update (New!)

On October 10, 2018, U.S District Court Judge Robert S. Lasnik issued an order certifying a class action against Banner Bank, and allowing the state law wage claims of over 200 Mortgage Loan Officers to continue toward a jury trial.

Judge Lasnik stated that there is a common question of whether “Banner Bank has systems, policies, and practices in place that effectively discourage or prevent [Mortgage Loan Officers] from reporting all the hours they worked.” He also stated that Banner Bank’s own records “support plaintiffs’ contentions that Banner Bank expected [Mortgage Loan Officers]  to work during normal business hours and to be responsive to clients and potential referrals at all hours, that Banner Bank knew or should have known that MLOs were working outside normal business hours, and that those hours were generally not captured in the payroll records.”

The order is a major victory. It is a crucial step to recovering compensation for class members. Read the order here.

On December 17, 2017, Judge Lasnik also “conditionally certified” a collective action against Banner Bank under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 203. The collective action required members to “opt in” and agree to join the collective action. Thirty-four people joined the collective action. The time period for joining the collective action has now closed.

 

Who Is a Member Of the Class

You are a member of the class action if

  1. You worked for Banner Bank or AmericanWest Bank in California as a Mortgage Loan Officer, Real Estate Commissioned Loan Officer, and/or Residential Lender, at any time between April 17, 2013 and present.
  2. You worked for Banner Bank or AmericanWest Bank in Washington State as a Mortgage Loan Officer, Real Estate Commissioned Loan Officer, and/or Residential Lender, at any time between April 17, 2014 and present.
  3. You worked for Banner Bank or AmericanWest Bank in Oregon as a Mortgage Loan Officer, Real Estate Commissioned Loan Officer, and/or Residential Lender, at any time between April 17, 2011 and present.

If you are a member of the class action, you will be notified by mail and e-mail.  We are in the process of notifying everyone who is a member of the class.

If you signed and returned a form “opting in” to the collective action, then you are also a member of a Fair Labor Standards Act “collective action” against Banner Bank.

 

Qualifications of The Blankenship Law Firm

The Blankenship Law Firm, P.S. is premier Northwest law firm that focuses exclusively on advocating for plaintiffs. Class counsel Scott C.G. Blankenship has an established record of success in the litigation of employment and civil rights cases. He has obtained seven and eight figure settlements and verdicts in both individual cases and class actions.  Among other awards and recognition, he has been named one of the State of Washington’s Top 25 Class Action Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers. He has also been selected as a “Washington Super Lawyer,” a recognition given only to the top 5% of lawyers in Washington State, for each of the last twelve years. For more information, please visit our results page.

 

Case Contact Information:

Phone: 206-343-2700
E-mail: blf@blankenshiplawfirm.com

 

FAQs:

Q: What do I need to do to participate in the class action?
A: Nothing! If you are a member of the class action, you will receive notice by mail and e-mail. If you have questions about whether or not you are a class member, please contact us at 206-343-2700 or blf@blankenshiplawfirm.com.

Q: If I am a class member, will I recover compensation?
A: We cannot guarantee the outcome of litigation. However, we feel strongly that most, if not all, class members are owed a significant amount for unpaid work they did at AmericanWest Bank and Banner Bank. We will make every effort to ensure all class members are fully and fairly compensated.

Q: Is there anything I should do as a class member?
A: Yes! Please contact our law firm at 206-343-2700 or at blf@blankenshiplawfirm.com. Information from class members is crucial to building our case and recovering full and fair compensation.

Q: Who represents me in this lawsuit?
A: All class members are represented by the attorneys at The Blankenship Law Firm, P.S., including lead attorney Scott Blankenship.

The Oregon, Washington, and California classes are also represented by a single “named plaintiff.” The named plaintiffs are: Sarah Ward (Oregon), Kelly Bolding (Washington), and Michael Manfredi (California).

Q: Can Banner Bank contact me?
A: No. If you are a class member, Banner Bank cannot contact you directly.  If you are a class member and you have ever been contacted by anyone from Banner Bank about a lawsuit, please immediately contact us.

Q: Do I have to pay anything to participate?
A: There is no cost or fee whatsoever for participating in the class action or collective action. If The Blankenship Law Firm obtains a settlement or a favorable trial verdict, the court will decide the fees and costs to be awarded to the class’ legal team. No class member will ever be asked to pay any out-of-pocket sum.

Q: Can my employer take any negative action against me as a result of my participation in this class action lawsuit?
A: No! It is illegal for your employer to take any negative action against you for your participation in a class action. You can participate in this lawsuit without fear of losing your job, receiving a demotion, or suffering from any other adverse action from your employer. If you feel that you are being pressured not to participate in this lawsuit for fear of retaliation or other negative treatment, please contact us immediately. We will work with you to ensure your rights are fully protected.

Court Documents:

Class Action Complaint

FLSA Opt In Form (upload completed forms here, or mail to The Blankenship Law Firm, 1000 2nd Ave Suite 3250, Seattle WA 98104)

Plaintiff’s Motion for Collective Action Certification

Order Granting in Part Plaintiff’s Motion for Conditional Certification

Notice of Conditional Certification of Collective Action Lawsuit

Order Granting Plaintiffs’ Motion for Certification of Class