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Recently, almost every major Wall Street firm has defended one or more stockbroker class and collective actions in which their well-compensated stockbrokers claim that like “blue collar” workers, they are entitled to overtime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and analogous state laws.

The stockbrokers challenge longstanding compensation practices, alleging not only that they are entitled to overtime wages, but that their employers have violated state laws by illegally failing to reimburse business expenses or illegally deducting business expenses from their wages. Both sides rely on an array of legal and factual arguments that typically are not tried to judgment. Instead, the class actions have led to a number of high-visibility settlements involving tens of millions of dollars.

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