A federal judge in Los Angeles this week okayed a $39 million preliminary settlement in a case involving Wachovia Corp. and more than 10,000 stock brokers who alleged they were denied overtime pay and other wages.

As reported by The National Law Journal, the crux of the brokers' case was their claim they were misclassified as exempt from overtime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as state wage and hour laws. They also claimed they weren't reimbursed for business expenses and didn't receive paychecks promptly after they left the firm.

Wachovia made a motion for preliminary approval, citing that new ownership from its recent acquisition by Wells Fargo & Co. Inc. would result in new policy and practices that could complicate the litigation. It also cited the financial duress of the financial industry.

A final approval hearing is set for Oct. 5.

In addition, the Law Journal reported that the same judge, U.S. District Judge David O. Carter, approved a final settlement where Prudential Financial Inc., agreed to pay $11 million to former stock brokers to settle seven class action suits filed against it by financial advisors and producing managers who worked at Prudential before its brokerage unit was bought by Wachovia in 2003.