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Last Post 02/13/2013 10:37 AM by  AcceleratedAdjuster
Independent Contractor Verses Employee
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Adjuster Jane
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12/22/2012 2:46 PM

    I feel we need to get this information out in to all independent adjusters, for us to stand together. I will send out information from time to time that is crucial for this industry to change. ARE YOU Tired of the one supervisor that pulls your files due to one little detail, Tired of not receiving the funds due to you for your finished product, Tired of the negative emails from storm supervisors. Tired of the absurd time frames that are place on our work, then the negative push push emails.  We have to stand together as one voice. We are independent contractors, not their employees. We do have recourse, even though I have heard a thousand times, WE DO NOT.

     YES WE DO, and you will start receiving information on how we have recourse for their (the firms) unjustified responses, rude emails, negativity, ridiculous time frames, and removal of our pay (pulling claim files) when our work is almost complete, for ridiculous reasons.

    If you have been in this industry for a while then you know what I am stating, we all have our stories about supervisors and firms.

    The information below is from the US Department of Labor Law for Independent Contractor verses Employee.

    This link takes you to the US Department of Labor web page on this subject, and your states labor laws. Sorry you will have to copy and paste:

    http://www.dol.gov/whd/workers/misc...teDetails.

    I do not wish to be an employee; this is about being treated as an independent contractor (self-employed).

    Flexible Staffing Arrangements

    A Report on Temporary Help, On-Call, Direct-Hire Temporary,Leased, Contract Company, and Independent Contractor Employment in the United States

    9.1 Who Is an Employee? Determining Independent ContractorStatus

    Independent contractors, by definition, are self-employed and because they are not employees, independent contractors are not covered by employment, labor, and related tax laws. Employers may be tempted to reclassify employees as independent contractors in order to avoid taxes, benefits, and other liability. Whether or not a worker is covered by a particular employment,labor, or tax law hinges on the definition of an employee. Yet, statutes usually fail to clearly define the term "employee", and no single standard to distinguish between employee and independent contractor has emerged. For example, the IRS uses the so-called “20-factor test,” in which it assesses the degree of control the company exercises over the way the work is performed by the independent contractor. If the company exercises too much control, the worker is deemed to be an employee. Employers do not have to pay FICA (social security and Medicare) and FUTA (federal unemployment insurance)taxes on independent contractors, nor do they have to withhold federal income taxes for these individuals. The IRS, which estimates that it loses billions in tax revenue each year due to misclassification of employees as independent contractors, has cracked down on the problem in recent years.

    The IRS 20-factor, right-to-control test is used to assess an employers’ tax liability. A similar test is used in most states to determine status under workers’ compensation laws. The so- called “economic realities test” or a hybrid of the right-to-control and economic realities test often issued by courts to determine independent contractor status in other circumstances. In essence, the economic realities test makes it harder to classify a worker as an independent contractor, because, in addition to considering the degree of control the employer exercises, it takes into account the degree to which the workers are economically dependent on the business. The economic realities test is used to determine employee status under the Family and Medical Leave Act (entitling workers to unpaid leave under certain circumstances), the Fair Labor Standards Act (establishing a minimum wage), and the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act (providing for advance notice in event of plant closings and mass layoffs). Additionally, it is often applied by courts in determining independent contractor status in civil rights cases under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act,and the Americans with Disabilities Act. States use a variety of other tests to determine independent contractor status for unemployment insurance purposes.19

    The plethora of tests defining independent contractor status applied across federal and state laws makes it possible for a worker to be classified as an independent contractor under one law, but as an employee under another. The Commission on the Future of Worker-Management Relations (1996) recommended simplifying and standardizing the definition of an employee in employment, labor, and tax law to reduce confusion and stem the abuse of misclassification of workers as independent contractors. The Commission recommended that a standardized test be based on the more restrictive concept of economic realities.

    I did not post the 20 factor test, due to different states labor laws factor into play also. This is very interesting on the fact if your state uses the federal guidelines. There is a complaint form that will open an audit on that company, even though you paid your taxes etc. The company can be fined, have to pay back taxes,etc. 

    ONE VOICE!!! WE NEED TO TAKE A STAND ON OUR RIGHTS AS INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS.

    Merry Christmas to all,

    Adjuster Jane

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    CatAdjusterX
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    12/23/2012 5:09 PM

    Hello there,

    Kudos to you for the passion you have demonstrated in this post.

    You have "some" valid points and for those I would stand beside you and do everything I can for our adjusters to get a fair shake.

    You speak of those that have been in the industry for awhile have OUR stories...yes we do! Nevertheless, I must disagree with a few points.

    I have been on BOTH sides of the argument. I have been an adjuster and early on I have had a handful of files pulled. But let me be clear, I have NEVER had ANY file pulled based upon ONE little detail!! Whatever files I have had pulled were for a few different things (some I didn't agree with but never just one little detail)

    I have been on the management side claims manager file reviewer etc..... and oh yes I have pulled PLENTY of files from adjusters, rookie and experienced and I guarantee you I have never pulled ANY file based upon one little detail

    Time frames are ONLY going to get tighter after Sandy.

    I fully agree that the behavior on the parts of some IA firms and carriers with deploying folks even before landfall is an absolute travesty. Sandy and Isaac and Irene were clusterF****s in that regard.

    I fully agree with you in that adjusters who put forth a quality work product should NOT have to wait to get paid until the IA firm gets paid. That's something about IA firms and something that cannot be dealt with at the adjuster level. I is a vendor (LOL) and I cannot pay my adjusters until I have gotten paid. That fact alone shows me the problem is...ME!!! I am not a criminal, I am not trying to get over on my adjusters. The fact of the matter is I am not financially solid enough to pay my adjusters until I am paid. Because of that and rightly so, I will NOT solicit ANY adjusters to deploy on my behalf until such a time that I can pay my adjusters on closed claims and not paid claims. I have been a vendor for two years now. It will be a long process

    The bottom line on IA firms paying adjusters only when they are paid is simple...Don't deploy with those IA firms.

     

    In closing, I would love to talk further with you on issues we can do something about. But some of the strokes you have drawn are far too broad.

     

    Good Luck and Merry Christmas!!! 

    "A good leader leads..... ..... but a great leader is followed !!" CatAdjusterX@gmail.com
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    HuskerCat
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    12/24/2012 8:00 PM
    Posted By Adjuster Jane on 22 Dec 2012 02:46 PM

    I feel we need to get this information out in to all independent adjusters, for us to stand together. I will send out information from time to time that is crucial for this industry to change. ARE YOU Tired of the one supervisor that pulls your files due to one little detail, Tired of not receiving the funds due to you for your finished product, Tired of the negative emails from storm supervisors. Tired of the absurd time frames that are place on our work, then the negative push push emails.  We have to stand together as one voice. We are independent contractors, not their employees. We do have recourse, even though I have heard a thousand times, WE DO NOT.

     YES WE DO, and you will start receiving information on how we have recourse for their (the firms) unjustified responses, rude emails, negativity, ridiculous time frames, and removal of our pay (pulling claim files) when our work is almost complete, for ridiculous reasons.

    If you have been in this industry for a while then you know what I am stating, we all have our stories about supervisors and firms.

    The information below is from the US Department of Labor Law for Independent Contractor verses Employee.

    This link takes you to the US Department of Labor web page on this subject, and your states labor laws. Sorry you will have to copy and paste:

    http://www.dol.gov/whd/workers/misc...teDetails.

    I do not wish to be an employee; this is about being treated as an independent contractor (self-employed).

    Flexible Staffing Arrangements

    A Report on Temporary Help, On-Call, Direct-Hire Temporary,Leased, Contract Company, and Independent Contractor Employment in the United States

    9.1 Who Is an Employee? Determining Independent ContractorStatus

    Independent contractors, by definition, are self-employed and because they are not employees, independent contractors are not covered by employment, labor, and related tax laws. Employers may be tempted to reclassify employees as independent contractors in order to avoid taxes, benefits, and other liability. Whether or not a worker is covered by a particular employment,labor, or tax law hinges on the definition of an employee. Yet, statutes usually fail to clearly define the term "employee", and no single standard to distinguish between employee and independent contractor has emerged. For example, the IRS uses the so-called “20-factor test,” in which it assesses the degree of control the company exercises over the way the work is performed by the independent contractor. If the company exercises too much control, the worker is deemed to be an employee. Employers do not have to pay FICA (social security and Medicare) and FUTA (federal unemployment insurance)taxes on independent contractors, nor do they have to withhold federal income taxes for these individuals. The IRS, which estimates that it loses billions in tax revenue each year due to misclassification of employees as independent contractors, has cracked down on the problem in recent years.

    The IRS 20-factor, right-to-control test is used to assess an employers’ tax liability. A similar test is used in most states to determine status under workers’ compensation laws. The so- called “economic realities test” or a hybrid of the right-to-control and economic realities test often issued by courts to determine independent contractor status in other circumstances. In essence, the economic realities test makes it harder to classify a worker as an independent contractor, because, in addition to considering the degree of control the employer exercises, it takes into account the degree to which the workers are economically dependent on the business. The economic realities test is used to determine employee status under the Family and Medical Leave Act (entitling workers to unpaid leave under certain circumstances), the Fair Labor Standards Act (establishing a minimum wage), and the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act (providing for advance notice in event of plant closings and mass layoffs). Additionally, it is often applied by courts in determining independent contractor status in civil rights cases under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act,and the Americans with Disabilities Act. States use a variety of other tests to determine independent contractor status for unemployment insurance purposes.19

    The plethora of tests defining independent contractor status applied across federal and state laws makes it possible for a worker to be classified as an independent contractor under one law, but as an employee under another. The Commission on the Future of Worker-Management Relations (1996) recommended simplifying and standardizing the definition of an employee in employment, labor, and tax law to reduce confusion and stem the abuse of misclassification of workers as independent contractors. The Commission recommended that a standardized test be based on the more restrictive concept of economic realities.

    I did not post the 20 factor test, due to different states labor laws factor into play also. This is very interesting on the fact if your state uses the federal guidelines. There is a complaint form that will open an audit on that company, even though you paid your taxes etc. The company can be fined, have to pay back taxes,etc. 

    ONE VOICE!!! WE NEED TO TAKE A STAND ON OUR RIGHTS AS INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS.

    Merry Christmas to all,

    Adjuster Jane


     

     

    Maybe I'm the only one...but I don't get Adjuster Jane's point.  The rationale she gives is all Dept of Labor or IRS related, and doesn't go back at all to her initial paragraph of supposedly being  treated unjustly (whether by the vendor or carrier) for work product.  If my vendor, or the carrier for that matter, says my work product isn't up to snuff...then so it is.  The blame lies directly on me.  And I can either give excuses, or valid reasons.  Reasons outweigh excuses, but it's better to avoid either.     

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    okclarryd
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    12/24/2012 9:49 PM
    Sounds kinds like a union kinda thing to me.

    I'm out........................

    Happy Trails
    Larry D Hardin
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    Adjuster Jane
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    12/25/2012 1:00 AM

    There is nothing about this that states a union! It is strictly information that you can research further or walk away. 

    Happy Trails!!!

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    K ung Fu tzu
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    12/27/2012 8:28 AM
    A little push back on the nasty emails go a long way. People are much different on the phone or in person than they are in email. As soon as I receive an email that starts with, "I don't know how long you been doing this...." or "I don't know how y'all do it up north"....I just pick up the phone, make the call to personalize the situation and I'll rarely hear from that person again. I've never had a file pulled, ever. But that's only because I was lucky enough to have progressed from fast track glass claims to EGA claims over a 30 year period. That's doesn't seem to be the case nowadays, they give any breathing soul the first claim off the top of the list that needs handling, tell them not to discuss coverage with the customer, make no recommendations for the customer to mitigate damages and then hand the claim off to someone in the office who has an equal amount of experience behind a desk. No wonder claims get pulled.

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    okclarryd
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    12/29/2012 8:52 AM
    Jane, you're right. There's nothing in your post about unions and I apologize. I skimmed it and came up with the wrong conclusion.
    Larry D Hardin
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    PSR
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    12/29/2012 10:20 PM
    Some advice on not getting your claims pulled from someone that's been out in the field and behind a desk.

    Make contact with the insured.

    Update xact with contact times. You may very well had contacted the insured a week ago, but if you didn't hit the "date contacted" button, how am I supposed to know you did?

    Which leads to:

    Make sure you check your voice mail regularly. Had quite a few adjusters I wasn't able to contact because their mailbox were full. If I can't call you and leave you a message, the insured sure as hell can't. They then call me, pissed off, and rightly so.

    Estimates>

    Give me professional estimates, that follow the carrier guidelines, and we'll get along great. Give me crap, and you're not going to be around for very long. I'm a busy guy, I don't have time to do my job and your job too.

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    Atfulldraw
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    12/29/2012 10:52 PM

    Posted By CatAdjusterX on 23 Dec 2012 05:09 PM 


    The bottom line on IA firms paying adjusters only when they are paid (or when they throw a bunch of crap like you listed in your first paragraph) is simple...Don't deploy with those IA firms.


     


    FIFY

    Rod
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    DStin214
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    01/04/2013 11:40 AM

    Adjuster Jane,

     If your goal is to have us carry picket signs in front of our insurance carrier's office, then I think you are preaching to the wrong choir.  Yes we do get annoying e-mails from supervisors who pretend to know what they are talking about.  But you would find that with any job you work at.  If you are good at adjusting, then this is a moot point.  Let your files speak for themselves.  Every job has "bad managers" and this industry is no different.

    http://www.insurance-adjuster-help.com
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    pondman
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    01/04/2013 12:12 PM
    Turn in your first file and say to your TM you are looking forward to hearing back ASAP so as to: Give them what they want, when they want it, and how they want it. If you converse with TM as to how she/he wants their files, then this meathod should/will work. We all know there will be times when they change things up, but that is the norm. Be able to adjust and don't take anything personal.
    Give them what they want, when they want it, and how they want it !
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    CatAdjusterX
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    01/07/2013 8:58 PM
    Posted By Rod on 29 Dec 2012 10:52 PM

    Posted By CatAdjusterX on 23 Dec 2012 05:09 PM 

    The bottom line on IA firms paying adjusters only when they are paid (or when they throw a bunch of crap like you listed in your first paragraph) is simple...Don't deploy with those IA firms.

     

    FIFY

    ...................................

    FIFY? Please clarify Rod. I am usually pretty good with acronyms coming from the Army, but this one has me.

    "A good leader leads..... ..... but a great leader is followed !!" CatAdjusterX@gmail.com
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    Atfulldraw
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    01/09/2013 1:39 AM

    FIFY - Fixed It For You.

    Some posts are fixable, some are FUBAR. :)

    Rod
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    AcceleratedAdjuster
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    02/13/2013 10:37 AM
    Posted By Adjuster Jane on 22 Dec 2012 02:46 PM

    I feel we need to get this information out in to all independent adjusters, for us to stand together. I will send out information from time to time that is crucial for this industry to change. ARE YOU Tired of the one supervisor that pulls your files due to one little detail, Tired of not receiving the funds due to you for your finished product, Tired of the negative emails from storm supervisors. Tired of the absurd time frames that are place on our work, then the negative push push emails.  We have to stand together as one voice. We are independent contractors, not their employees. We do have recourse, even though I have heard a thousand times, WE DO NOT.

     

    Adjuster Jane

    I will preface this response by stating that the quoted statement displays terrible grammar and punctuation. If this happens to be the "one little detail" that you refer to, please be advised that I too would pull any files mistakenly assigned to you. If not, read on.

    *The only time I have ever seen a file pulled (or pulled a file) over "one little detail" was after several discussions with the IA concerning that specific detail. If the customer (be it the carrier or the IA firm) wants it their way, make it their way. If an IA consistently submits reports with the same error, even after discussion and reprimand, it is best to pull the files and assign them to someone who can do the job required of them.

    *I have seen multiple instances in which payment for work submitted was withheld. In rare cases, a firm simply does not pay. This can be avoided by due diligence, and knowing with whom you are working. In cases that withholding of payment is justified, it generally has to do with an incomplete/inaccurate work product that results in having to dispatch yet another adjuster to do the job correctly. This could happen if large portions of an estimate are missing and a supplement is required, but if you know how to properly write a report (ie: identifying the potential for supplemental damages), it should not happen. 

    *Storm supervisors do tend to send out negative emails. Such is the nature of the industry. If a storm boss has 50 adjusters working for them, you can rest assured that they not only get to deal with adjusters sending in bad reports, but also deadline issues. The storm boss is in the least enviable of all positions. They only deal with the most difficult insured's, they only receive calls from the IA firm or the carrier when things are not running smoothly and they generally only receive calls from the adjuster when something is wrong. Understanding and appreciating the position, (and the stress that comes along with it) can go a long way toward a positive relationship with the storm supervisor. Most negative emails will either be sent to all, because it applies to all or they will be sent directly to the adjuster that is causing the problem.

    *With regards to the "absurd time frames" and the "push push emails", well, it is really quite simple: If you agree to work with a firm that has a 5 day reporting requirement, the firm expects you to uphold your end of the bargain. If you agree to an even smaller timeline, do remember that you agreed to it.


    We do most assuredly not need to "stand together as one voice" (sic). The ability to deal with the high volume and high stress that comes with every catastrophe is what separates the professional adjuster from the "I just got a license, I r now a juster" crowd. And you do indeed have recourse, in the sense that you do not have to accept an assignment from anyone, ever. Such is the joy of being independent. That said, when you do enter into a contract or agreement with a firm or carrier, while you may not be their employee in the W-2 sense of the word, the thing to remember is that they are a customer. In any business, a customer wants a few things: They want what they ordered. They want it in a timely manner. They want no problems with the product (read: accurate) once they receive it. If you have goals that conflict with providing those three basic services, you may wish take a different path, because you will not last long as a  professional IA.


    www.acceleratedadjusting.com www.acceleratedadjustingisrael.com
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