Captives Soon to All Be W2 Employees? Jammal Vs American Family

Discussion in 'P&C Insurance Forum' started by AZDave, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. todd02
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    todd02 Well-Known Member

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    What???? Number of Agents will decrease. District managers will decrease as well
     
  2. AZDave
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    AZDave Well-Known Member

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    For anyone interested in this case, here's news:

    On April 18, 2017, after a two week trial an advisory jury returned a unanimous decision in the plaintiffs’ favor, finding that the agents were employees under ERISA.

    Court still must confirm or reject the jury verdict. If the judge confirms, the the case goes to the next phase to determine scope of relief.

    Still not over, but AMFAM is losing, and has lost again.
     
  3. todd02
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    todd02 Well-Known Member

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    Wow.... this is pretty bad for AMFAM
     
  4. VolAgent
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    VolAgent Well-Known Member

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    It won't be just AMFAM. I doubt their structure is vastly different than any other captive, so all the captive companies may be facing a similar lawsuit from their agents. Particularly those that incurred huge losses and failed out for whatever reason.

    There will almost certainly be huge changes coming to the captives, the question is what. FedEx Ground solved their problem by no longer hiring individual drivers but firms who hired individual drivers. How will captives solve their problem should this decision stand on appeal?
     
  5. shawnmwalker
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    shawnmwalker Well-Known Member

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    The NAAFA Home Page

    "JAMMAL V AMERICAN FAMILY;
    THE UNANIMOUS JURY VERDICT IS THAT AGENTS ARE, IN FACT, EMPLOYEES. THE AGENTS WON!!
    It will be some time before the judge comes back with the penalty, but just knowing that the jury agreed with Plaintiffs on behalf of the agents is awesome. Hey, give God the GLORY!* 4/18/2017"

    ----------

    Jury says American Family Insurance misclassified agents in class action seeking retirement benefits | cleveland.com

    "The jury apparently agreed that AmFam cannot have it both ways," Erin Dickinson, a Milwaukee-area attorney who worked on the case, said in the news release.*"A company cannot just call its agents 'independent contractors' to avoid following the federal law protecting retirement benefits and then insist on controlling how those agents do their work."

    "We strongly disagree with the advisory verdict and believe it is contrary to the facts that American Family treats our agents as the independent contractors that they are," Muth's statement says. "The classification of insurance agents as independent contractors is common in our industry and has been affirmed by the courts in the past. Not only does our agents' independent-contractor designation comply with the law, it benefits our agents by providing them great independence to make their businesses successful."

    The jury's decision in this case mirrors litigation underway across the country that seeks benefits and payment standards for people*who work at*companies that classify workers*as independent contractors.
     
  6. insurance1822
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    insurance1822 Well-Known Member

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    so what does this "really" mean? Other captives allow agents to sell their BOB (whereas apparently Amfam does not?) Other captives don't control who agents hire (at least nothing extreme..) so I don't see how this spills over?

    Was AMFAM abusing the captive setup worse then others?
     
  7. AZDave
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    AZDave Well-Known Member

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    AMFAM owns the book. Agents become eligible for 'termination' benefits after certain number of years, and that is based on a % of the renewal.

    They just cannot have it both ways; 1099 independent contractor status, but have huge controls on your agency operations.

    Pony up, AMFAM.!
     
  8. Brianj
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    Brianj Member

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    Having worked in amfam for 10 yrs, i can tell you that yes they abused the captive setup a bunch. It was such a relief when i finally left for the indy agent route.
     
  9. Gulfman
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    Gulfman Well-Known Member

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    Termination Benefits....what's that? Is that some kinda "severance pay?" *Based on % of biz renewed?

    THIS is "slavery" and also what 1822 has been pointing out for yrs---and i don't even know the guy.

    HOWEVER, the way i'm reading it is ALL AGENTS who are "captive" will be w-2 (that's a given), but ALSO indy's as well (which technically is correct). ***WHEN PC agencies have signed agreements with 220 agents or licensed CSRs, (meaning,...those minions can't work for anyone else but me AND, i also own that BOB they bring in)----what else could they be classified as? Can anyone argue that these "agents" who can't go anywhere else, ARE anything BUT W-2?

    Gotta slip "a Nice load of BS by these judges" to get this to pass mustard as 1099 contractors.

    ???

    Gonna be a BIG PAYDAY for these Attorney's if they get this one through.
     
  10. VolAgent
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    VolAgent Well-Known Member

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    Not quite sure I followed everything you said.

    The sad reality is, many people who are classified as independent contractors are really employees. The employer simply has too much control and the IC has never made an investment and has no real risk of running a loss.

    https://www.irs.gov/businesses/smal...ependent-contractor-self-employed-or-employee

    For an agency with workers, anyone sitting at a desk is almost certainly an employee. Outside people may or may not be an employee, it really just depends on the level of control.

    If you tell someone what to do, when to do it and how to do it all while controlling how much they get paid, they are almost certainly your employee under the law.
     

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