Roy Cupps over at CADO posted this link in the forums there regarding a Class Action lawsuit filed by MS Attorney JP Hughes (I could not locate a website for him but I’m working on it through network connections )on behalf of the adjusters handling the BP claims regarding two issues:
1) Overtime pay- working more than 40 hours per week and not receiving over time pay (they were on daily rate)
2) Alleged failure of adjusting firm to pay adjusters their 65% of the daily rate they were paid by the BP Fund
For complete details, here is the link:
This is definitely a case to watch as it is standard for independent adjusters to receive a daily rate of pay for each day worked on a catastrophe or daily assignment where they agree to work for a stipulated daily rate for a given split of the daily rate. The rate these adjusters were paid is on the high end of the daily rate independents normally receive. I have no idea why this alleged adjuster would feel entitled to time and a half for hours worked over 40 hours unless the contract indicated the daily rate was for a given 40 hours which is unheard of in the claims industry for independents working on assignment.
I am very curious if this person was actually one of the actually non claim folks working on BP claims. I have actually been told by several were working in field offices that BP Csar Ken Feinburg changed adjuster job titles to “evaluators” when he took over. If that is true, do you think that the prior findings of the Fair Labor Standards commission would differ on findings on this class action?
If you missed our prior several blogs on overtime issues and adjusters, here are links to prior blogs on the topics and prior decisions on some of these cases:
Regarding the second issue of alleged failure of Worley Adjusting firm to pay the agreed 65% split of the daily rate, I find that very hard to believe as they have such an excellent reputation for paying adjusters fairly in the claim industry which is remarkable considering the number of adjusters who have gone unpaid by unprofessional firms since Katrina. I assume we’ll be able to view the contract when documents are filed during discovery on the case to show first of all the daily fee Worley was receiving per “adjuster” as well as the independent contract terms they were using on this assignment. I’ll keep an eye out for those to make the records in the coming months.
There were many experienced adjusters who would gladly have deployed for the given rate of pay. In addition, adjusters working out of town at BP assignments were given daily per diem while working which is unheard of for independent adjusters working for insurance carriers so those who were lucky enough to be deployed were most thankful for the assignment.
I think this case will be closely watched by all insurance carriers who use independent adjusters on daily rates. I know I will be closely following it. You can as well by subscribing to this blog to watch for updates as we post them.
If you also want to follow this discussion going on over at CADO where Roy Cupps posted this information, here is the link to that topic forum discussion there: