The U.S. Department of Labor and many courts have ruled that auto damage appraisers are entitled to overtime wages. Progressive insurance company does not pay overtime wages to its automobile damage appraisers (“MRRs” or “Claims Adjuster – Auto Damage”). While some courts in some cases have ruled that appraisers who also perform claims adjusting duties are not entitled to overtime, it is not clear that these appraisers are actually “adjusters.”
Several years ago, there were a few overtime class actions for auto appraisers here in Connecticut, and th0se cases ended successfully. In one case, a Connecticut judge denied the employer’s motion to have the case dismissed. Because of this case and some others, the law in Connecticut is favorable to auto damage appraisers who work more than 40 hours per week and do not earn overtime pay.
In these lawsuits, appraisers usually claim that their work is limited to using a computer system to obtain an appraisal for the damage to the car. They then issue a check, either to the insured, or the auto body shop. In some cases, they also have the authority to negotiate and settle total loss claims, but more and more companies are assigning those duties to total loss specialists. When an employee’s duties are limited to appraising and paying auto body shops, they are usually entitled to overtime wages.
Many appraisers work long hours driving to insured’s homes, to auto body shops, and to the home office. They often start working at home in the morning and continue working after they get home at night. Many companies have reclassified these workers to hourly, but a few have not.