Six former employees are suing New Jersey-based Family First Funding, LLC and its three co-founders in a class-action-seeking lawsuit claiming the lender failed to pay them overtime.
The plaintiffs worked as processors at the company in different periods from May 2018 through January 2023. The regular workday, according to them, was supposed to follow business office hours from Monday to Friday.
But the plaintiffs claim they routinely worked early mornings, evenings, late nights, and weekends at Family First Funding, resulting in more than 40, 50, and 60 hours per week. The processors were affected by layoffs imposed by the company in 2022 and 2023.
The company and co-founders are “liable under the Fair Labor Standard Act for failing to properly compensate plaintiffs and failing to pay plaintiffs overtime pay at one-and-a-half times their regular hourly rate for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek,” the plaintiffs’ attorney wrote in the complaint.
The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court, District of New Jersey, on March 2. According to the document, there are potentially over 40 current and former employees in similar situations to join the suit.
Besides the company, defendants include Family First Funding’s president Gabriel Gillen, his wife and COO, Neusa Gillen, and former CEO, Scott Weikel. The executives founded the direct mortgage lender in 2011. None of the co-founders replied to requests for comments.
The lawsuit states that Family First Funding’s co-founders have been “heavily involved” in the lender’s operations. They’ve engaged in day-to-day supervision, given the final decision concerning the terms and conditions of hiring and firing staffers, and decided on assignments and work schedules. Weikel, per the lawsuit, left the company in July 2022 by selling his interests to the Gillens.
The complaint says that Family First Funding had 300 employees across “some 25 offices” and did business in over 30 states.
According to the mortgage tech platform Modex, Family First’s monthly volume dropped 40% from August 2022 to December 2022. In the last 12 months, the company originated $1.45 billion; about 67% were conventional loans, and 71% were purchase loans.