TD Bank Group is one step closer to resolving a lawsuit brought by off-duty New York City police officers.
A federal judge in New York last week conditionally approved the bank’s $8.7 million settlement with more than 5,000 officers who claimed they went unpaid for shifts as security guards at TD locations throughout the city.
The settlement covers all New York Police Department officers who served as security guards between July 2014 and September 2023 at any TD Bank location in New York State.
The preliminary approval by U.S. District Judge Andrew L. Carter Jr. means that both parties can begin planning for the proposed settlement to go through. Another hearing will be held early next year to confirm the agreement.
Security guards are fixtures at many large businesses in New York City. Thousands of them are NYPD officers picking up shifts on occasion. The off-duty officers form what’s known as the NYPD’s paid detail program, which provides businesses with cops moonlighting as security guards.
The cops’ suit against TD and several other businesses alleged that many officers went unpaid or waited months for their paychecks, according to a complaint filed in July 2020. TD and the other defendants also violated federal law by failing to provide accurate pay statements, the complaint said.
“TD Bank engages in a pattern and practice of failing to pay police officers, detectives, sergeants and lieutenants at all for the work they perform through the paid detail program,” attorneys for the officers wrote in the complaint.
TD Bank and the other defendants violated the Fair Standards Labor Act and the New York State Labor Law, according to the complaint. The city and its police department were also named as defendants since the police department helps businesses employ its officers.
TD declined to comment on the suit.
Several other New York City businesses named as defendants in the suit have already reached settlements with the off-duty cops, including Whole Foods and the pharmacy chain Duane Reade.
TD has more than 100 branches in the New York City metropolitan area, which is home to some of the wealthiest households in the U.S. In the U.S., the Canadian bank operates more than 1,100 retail branches, with many concentrated on the East Coast.
TD filed a motion to dismiss the suit in February 2021, but a judge denied it. Attorneys for TD and the officers began to negotiate in early 2022, exchanging “numerous demands, offers, counter-demands and counter-offers” before agreeing on the $8.7 million settlement. Both parties said in court filings that the settlement doesn’t include an admission of liability on behalf of TD Bank.
Financial institutions and other companies regularly set aside money for potential settlement agreements and other legal costs. Near the end of 2022, TD Bank said possible losses related to legal actions ranged from zero to about $1.3 billion, according to regulatory filings.
In February, the bank agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle litigation related to the Ponzi scheme built by disgraced financier Allen Stanford. Plaintiffs in that case argued that TD and two smaller banks aided the scheme.