There was a time on Wall Street that you could work a new hire half to death, pay him next to nothing and promise him riches beyond his wildest dream if he lurked in the office at midday and stole clients by answering the phones of colleagues who had stepped out for a liquid lunch.
But that time, it now seems, has long passed...
Bank of America Corp and its Merrill Lynch unit will pay $14 million to settle lawsuits claiming that they forced financial adviser trainees to work 60 hours and more per week, including on weekends, without paying them overtime.
The settlement filed on Tuesday night in federal court in Manhattan resolves proposed class-action claims that the second-largest U.S. bank violated the rights of roughly 9,500 trainees nationwide who worked for several weeks or months in its Practice Management Development program.
$14 million? That'll teach giant banks to treat Millennials like their parents and older siblings rented mules! You can't just offer these kids a job with advancement possibilities, pay them between somewhere between $56,334 and $62,715 a year,* and expect them to kill themselves on nights and weekends.
Plaintiffs like Andrew Blum of Stuart, Florida; Zaq Harrison of Baltimore; Samuel Jorgenson in New York and Ronni Reiburn in New York claimed that Merrill regularly required them to work 10- to 14-hour days, attend client functions and work on weekends.
They said the work was necessary because Merrill expected them to generate client leads, but that the failure to pay for their extra time violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
Labor laws, aka: Those things first year investment bank analysts were only vaguely aware existed back in the 90s. Well, now they're all too real and Wall Street better keep falling in line before all these litigious Millennials take their hard-won settlement fortunes and launch fintech startups...
Justin Swartz, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said the accord provides about $1,000 per class member, after legal fees.
Oh... Well if these kids need another entry-level job on The Street, we hear that Goldman is letting interns sleep now!
* Numbers according to Glassdoor