Guardian First Funding Group Loan Officers Represented by Nichols Kaster, PLLP Win Class Certification

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On March 31, 2011, the District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that loan officers who worked for Guardian First Funding Group from March 23, 2004 to the present could proceed with their minimum wage and overtime claims as a Rule 23 class action under New York state law.

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Now that the class is certified, these employees will be automatically included in the case unless they take affirmative steps to opt out.

On March 31, 2011, the District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that loan officers who worked for Guardian First Funding Group from March 23, 2004 to the present could proceed with their minimum wage and overtime claims as a Rule 23 class action under New York state law. Guardian First Funding Group specializes in reverse mortgages for seniors. It has offices in New York and Pennsylvania.

In the action, current and former loan officers assert that the Guardian First Funding Group’s policy of paying its employees on a commissions basis denied them minimum wages and overtime pay they are due under the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York state law. They also assert that the company’s owners, Jason Levy, Mark Fidel, and Robert Stark should be held individually liable for the pay they were denied. Since the case began in March 2010, Plaintiffs have filed several motions to advance their claims. On March 31st, the Court ruled favorably on Plaintiffs’ class certification motion, and also on four other motions Plaintiffs brought. Those motions included two motions to strike affirmative defenses, a motion to dismiss the company’s counterclaims against its employees, and Plaintiffs’ motion to amend the complaint.

Plaintiffs’ attorney, Michele R. Fisher stated, “Current and former employees were afraid to join this case due to concerns of retaliation. Now that the class is certified, these employees will be automatically included in the case unless they take affirmative steps to opt out. This will help the employees who were too scared to join to recover the pay they are owed.”
Plaintiffs are represented by Michele R. Fisher, Paul J. Lukas, and Reena Desai, from Nichols Kaster, PLLP in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The case is entitled, Febus v, Guardian First Funding Group, LLC, Case No. 1:10-cv-2590 (S.D.N.Y.).
Additional information about the case is located at http://www.overtimecases.com, or may be obtained by calling Nichols Kaster, PLLP toll free at (877) 448-0492.

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Michele R. Fisher
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