Charleston resident files class-action overtime suit against MetLife

Posted February 7th, 2017.

As it appeared on The Post and Courier

By John McDermott

A Charleston resident who worked for MetLife in Connecticut is suing the insurance giant, alleging it failed to pay at least $50 million in overtime to certain administrative workers across the country over the past three years.

Stephanie McKinney’s complaint was filed in federal court in Hartford, Conn., on Tuesday. She was a claims specialist for MetLife who worked at the company in Bloomfield, Conn., from September 2013 until last July.

Her lawsuit alleges MetLife changed the employment status for her position as “a cost-cutting measure” in late 2013 to make the job exempt from state and federal overtime laws. At the same time, the responsibilities for claims specialists remained the same, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit seeks class-action status on behalf of all specialists nationwide who worked on long-term disability insurance claims for MetLife and two of its subsidiaries.

A spokesman for the New York-based insurer said the company had no immediate comment because it had not reviewed the lawsuit.

McKinney alleges the company was aware that specialists worked 45 to 60 hours a week without overtime pay and that they often had to gather information about claims outside of office hours.

She said she filed a complaint last February with the Connecticut Department of Labor about the change in overtime policy.

After an investigation, the agency told McKinney that “MetLife misclassified her position as exempt” because she “had no direct reports, no advanced education” and did not have the authority to make decisions about claims, according to the lawsuit.

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