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Last Post 10/25/2011 10:36 PM by  Leland
BP Oil Spill
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will.jones1956
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10/18/2011 10:27 AM
    I worked the BP Oil spill for Worley for 8 months and had a positive experience. I heard from and adjuster still deployed in LA that Worley may be adding adjusters back to the cat to handle all the lawsuit claims. Anyone else hear this?
    CatAdjusterX
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    10/19/2011 3:40 AM
    Posted By Will.jones on 18 Oct 2011 10:27 AM
    I worked the BP Oil spill for Worley for 8 months and had a positive experience. I heard from and adjuster still deployed in LA that Worley may be adding adjusters back to the cat to handle all the lawsuit claims. Anyone else hear this?

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    Will, I would imagine that ANY "adjusters" that Worley will bring in if required will no longer come from the ranks of those with no experience. I would think those positions will be filled by experienced adjusters and/or those who have prior experience with the BP claims process(like you) 

    I am not saying that Worley is a saint for employing mass hordes of adjusters with zero experience doing any claims whatsoever and surelt had not a clue as to business interruption type actions. I say actions because for the vast majority of "claimants" there was no insurance of any kind to be had in a largely unregulated but lucrative industry such as Fishing/shrimping.

    I remember that many "experienced" adjusters were actually turned down for applying to handle the BP/Deepwater Horizon accident and subsequent release of unrefined sweet crude oil. I believe that they were turned down because what work that was needed was almost exclusively administrative and NOT typical claims per se'. The common phrase was "we need to keep our experienced contingent of claims adjusters on hand for hurricane season."

    Whatever the reason was for, I was ecstatic  that so many of my members who were rookie adjusters were getting called up and were told that this could be an indefinite deployment for the foreseeable future. Worley was CRYSTAL CLEAR that this position entailed 12 hour days and 7 days a week. The position called for $450.00 per day with a $350.00 day rate and up to $100.00 per day towards lodging give or take with a few bucks higher or lower.

    Whilst the money wasn't great, it was very good for the job description and as for me anyway, I cannot remember a time as an IA deployed on a storm where my lodging expenses covered.

    A $350.00 day rate with almost NO expenses is a great dollar amount when considering what they were actually doing. To add the $100.00 whether as per diem or for expenses sweetens the deal even more. In that what they were doing was not even remotely close to being what a deployed adjuster on a typical storm, I am keenly aware that doing ANYTHING for 12 hours a day and 7 days a week makes one want to smack the dog around when they get home

    So for these guys to feel as rookie adjusters that they are entitled to something close to $800.00 per day for something NOT even close to a typical adjuster workload, well I find their position without merit. I mean, come on I have worked clean up for a lessor day rate and many experienced adjusters have as well.

    I have read the complaint and I don't get it. I mean from square one, these folks were completely aware about the 12hour/7day schedule in addition to the $350.00 day rate/$100.00 per diem. The lead plaintiff is someone who was hired on 23July 2010 and fired on 25 September 2010. He lasted like 8 weeks and complained about the hours almost from the get go. This person will NEVER make it in this industry if he is complaining about the days and hours required to work the BP oil spill. How do you think he will feel about a CAT deployment  when 12 hour days are expected and now add in the XM8 reports and climbing roofs all day? 

    At the end of the day,

    I want to ask anyone participating in this class action lawsuit just one question:

    What compels you to think as a rookie adjuster(for the most part) that you are entitled to $800.00+ per day doing something far less taxing than an average CAT deployment ? 

    "A good leader leads..... ..... but a great leader is followed !!" CatAdjusterX@gmail.com
    Tex Walker
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    10/19/2011 1:17 PM
    $ 29.00 per hour for a 12 hour work day before taxes taken out, taking care of two households, one on the road and other back home. Sounds like a slot machine.. where do I sign up ?
    okclarryd
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    10/24/2011 8:14 AM

    I was asked to join in a lawsuit against Farmers and Continental Staffing. Something about overtime.  Overtime?  What a novel concept! 

    I declined for these reasons and others :

    I knew up front what the job duties and hours were; I knew up front what the pay was and it was good: I knew that the job would evolve as the project went along; I knew that I was going to do what was asked of me; I knew I was gonna be in Beaumont for a long, long time; I knew that my employer was as good as I would ever work for; I knew that some of the Farmers folks were gonna be difficult to be around; I knew that it was gonna be a good deployment because I decided it was gonna be good.

    Why would I bite the hand that fed me well and on time?

    Happy Trails

    Larry D Hardin
    ChuckDeaton
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    10/24/2011 3:36 PM
    How about, because the deal was in violation of the law?

    We won't know if the Worley deal is in violation of State and/or Federal law until the case is adjudicated.

    In order to have a valid contract the subject matter has to be legal, just one of several requirements of a valid contract.
    "Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
    CatAdjusterX
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    10/25/2011 2:14 AM
    Posted By Tex Walker on 19 Oct 2011 01:17 PM
    $ 29.00 per hour for a 12 hour work day before taxes taken out, taking care of two households, one on the road and other back home. Sounds like a slot machine.. where do I sign up ?

    Tex, I am not sure if you're saying that their wages were gravy or a pittance, but in any case the wages they AGREED to and the 7/12 schedule they AGREED to equals right at 10 grand per month and that isn't bad at all for their work load.

     But eek!!! They are demanding additional compensation that totals 17,720.00 per month for admin work.

    "A good leader leads..... ..... but a great leader is followed !!" CatAdjusterX@gmail.com
    CatAdjusterX
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    10/25/2011 2:18 AM

    Posted By ChuckDeaton on 24 Oct 2011 03:36 PM
    How about, because the deal was in violation of the law?

    We won't know if the Worley deal is in violation of State and/or Federal law until the case is adjudicated.

    In order to have a valid contract the subject matter has to be legal, just one of several requirements of a valid contract.

    I know you are 100% correct Chuck and Worley is no saint to say for sure, but 17k a month for admin work,yikes!!  



    "A good leader leads..... ..... but a great leader is followed !!" CatAdjusterX@gmail.com
    okclarryd
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    10/25/2011 4:53 PM

    Chuck,

    I understand what you're saying but my point is that I agreed to the terms, state statute compliant or not.

    The folks that worked for Worley knew what the hours were, the pay rate, the tax situation, all the details.  And, as "at will" employees, I'm not sure they are subject to the same laws and statutes that an hourly person who works for Target or Sears.

    This industry has many peculiar and unique things going for it, good and bad.  I still think that my agreement, my word, is worth more than whatever I might realize from a lawsuit filed by a know-nothing disgruntled adjuster-want-to-be that I've never met, heard of or had any contact with.

    The only ones that are gonna benefit from the lawsuit are the lawyers, plaintiff and defense.

    Just sayin'..........................

    Larry D Hardin
    ChuckDeaton
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    10/25/2011 5:20 PM
    I understand, Larry, but you and I are educated, experienced employees and contractors.

    Wait until you have agreed and your cut is material, lets say over 500t, and the vendor and company starts to craw fish.

    I would start interviewing lawyers and so would you.

    Just for the record I agree that the only ones who benefit from this one are lawyers.
    "Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
    CatAdjusterX
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    10/25/2011 8:50 PM
    Posted By ChuckDeaton on 25 Oct 2011 05:20 PM
    I understand, Larry, but you and I are educated, experienced employees and contractors.

    Wait until you have agreed and your cut is material, lets say over 500t, and the vendor and company starts to craw fish.

    I would start interviewing lawyers and so would you.

    Just for the record I agree that the only ones who benefit from this one are lawyers.

    Chuck and Larry,

    Whilst again Worley did NOT hire a large % of rookie adjusters to help these new folks out by giving them a shot.

     I honestly think that they hired new folks because of the simple fact of "the less you know the chances are diminished as to asking alot of questions as to WHY they were or were NOT approving or denying said claims one week and then change the standard next week and so on and so forth.

    Whilst I have never worked for Worley, I am aware that IA firms are getting more and more heat for 1099ing (probably not a word) independent contractors as opposed to becoming an employee and then being required to cover W/C and withholding etc...

    So with the Feds being in the mix, I am thinking maybe Worley stepped on their private parts as they tried to fashion and structure an hourly wage along with W/C and withholding and in the process they may have exposed themselves to this type of action.

    The ONLY reason I am droning on and on and on again because I am normally so low key and quiet 
    (yeah right!!!). But seriously, I am on this thing because regardless as to whether the plaintiff's action is found to be with or without merit, I am concerned that the 40 some odd "plaintiffs" that are participating  in this action will screw "future" rookie adjusters chances of getting a shot from either Worley or any other IA firm.

    Chuck/Larry and anyone for that matter, what are your thoughts ? Even with Worley being found liable, do you think $17,000.00+ and with the additional per diem add another 3,000.00 for a total of more than 20,000.00+ per month for admin work is fair ?  

    "A good leader leads..... ..... but a great leader is followed !!" CatAdjusterX@gmail.com
    ChuckDeaton
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    10/25/2011 9:12 PM
    Fair and honest are concepts that are not a part of the Worley world, especially where desperate newbies are involved. What is fair is determined by a legal and enforceable contract.

    Clearly Worley is a large company, about 200 million gross per year, and has access to unlimited legal advise, Worley drafted a contract, a contract of adhesion, as those that were hired had no opportunity to modify the contract, then if Worley acted as most vendors do, the contract was presented with no alternative, either sign the contract or no job. As with most vendors, the hired was not given a copy of the contract signed by both parties. Of course the unemployed jumped on it.

    The thing to remember is that for a contract to be enforceable the subject matter has to be legal. As in most cases, the courts will determine whether or not this contract is legal and enforceable.

    Keep in mind that the legal system in Louisiana is not based on British common law but on Napoleonic law.

    How, exactly, would filing a lawsuit to determine whether a contract is legal and enforceable "screw" newbies. Virtually every vendor in this business makes every attempt to "screw" newbies, primarily because people who are desperate are relatively easy to "screw". I review these contracts on a regular basis and I can tell you that very few of them have totally legal subject matter.

    "Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
    Leland
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    10/25/2011 10:36 PM
    You can't successfully bargain away rights that are given as part of public policy. You may want to give your rights away; you may think you don't deserve those rights; you may sign a contract giving up those rights in exchange for what you believe is fair compensation, but no matter what it is just generally not legally possible to give away such rights.

    This is why a pre-employment arbitration agreement may not apply in a case of racial discrimination. A job applicant cannot contractually agree to give up their right to a court trial over racial discrimination any more than an adjuster can agree to be an employee that gets less than minimum wage or state required overtime.

    It is public policy descended from the Old Testament that employees get paid a certain minimum amount. A contract that is not in compliance with the law is not enforceable. Even stockbrokers have won class action lawsuits for overtime pay and/or minimum wage.

    Personally the money mentioned above sounds great to me. I would have worked for that amount but I already have a job. Unfortunately for an employer they might pay a wage that their workers were happy with but the law might not be on the employer's side. I don't have enough facts or legal knowledge to speculate.

    This is why some companies will use intermediaries to hire employees (agriculture, cleaning) or try to call them "subcontractors" (messengers etc).

    Paying "subcontractors" has another set of pitfalls, however. There is a list of IRS tests to determine whether a person is truly a subcontractor or actually an employee- for example employees are usually told what hours to work, how to do the work, and they don't work for another company at the same time. The IRS doesn't like it when a company has phony subcontractors and no withholding is happening. The state doesn't like it when worker's compensation, disability insurance and unemployment insurance aren't getting paid.

    One hybrid status that can work well for companies that aren't afraid to use it is the "statutory employee". Let's say you are required to have a license by law and your employer has you working only for themselves and nobody else. You can be a subcontractor of sorts the way you get paid but legally be treated as an employee and it is legal by state law and tax code. This is how real estate agents and insurance agents often work. LICENSED insurance adjusters could also be paid this way. The IRS or state might be unhappy with an adjusting firm that has the adjusters as "subcontractors" paid by 1099, but  simply changing the adjusters status to "statutory employee" allows the firm to pay them commission or some other non-hourly method and not be in trouble. The employer must withhold FICA but does not withhold income taxes. The statutory employee files a schedule C on their tax return, just like a sole proprietorship. The statutory employee also writes off their own expenses. Again, this is normally how real estate agents do it. Real estate firms are not afraid to do business this way, I believe adjusting firms could take advantage of the same laws.

    from the IRS:

    http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small...21,00.html
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