Washington Mutual Inc., Seattle, is being sued in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, N.Y., by three former employees alleging that the mortgage banker violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act by not paying them the minimum wage and overtime.The three plaintiffs, Dewone Westerfield of Grand Rapids, Mich., Charlotte Machado of Trussville, Ala., and Patricia Kemesies of East Islip, N.Y., worked at different locations, but all maintain that they worked in excess of 40 hours a week with no overtime. The plaintiffs allege that, if the loans they handled were not approved, they received no pay for the long hours they worked, and that this practice violates the minimum wage law, according to the attorneys that filed the suit, Nichols Kaster & Anderson PLLP of Minneapolis and Outten & Golden LLP of New York. Alan Gulick, a spokesman for WaMu, said the company has not yet seen the lawsuit. "However, we believe our compensation practices are fair and ethical, and we will vigorously defend our company against the allegations made," he said. Nichols Kaster & Anderson has a website, http://www.overtimecases.com, that lists 10 other active cases against nine mortgage lenders.

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