A proposed class and collective action claims Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO) has failed to pay auto damage adjusters and residential adjusters for every hour worked and owes unpaid overtime wages.
According to the lawsuit, adjusters who worked in GEICO’s Region 7, which includes Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee, were required to put in significantly more than 40 hours per week yet “pressured” into reporting that they worked no more than 7.75 hours per day.
Per the case, GEICO’s “intimidation tactics and implied adverse employment consequences” caused workers to underreport their hours and, in consequence, not be paid time-and-a-half overtime wages in accordance with state and federal law.
The lawsuit’s three plaintiffs, one of whom is still employed by GEICO, say they were typically paid hourly wages for a Monday through Friday schedule for the hours of 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, with an automatically deducted 45-minute meal break. Two of the plaintiffs allege, however, that they, prior to March 2020, would begin working, typically with work-related travel, as early as 6:30 AM and continue working, usually without taking a meal break, until as late as 5:00 PM, with one plaintiff claiming he often continued to work after dinner for an additional 30 minutes to an hour. Because of COVID-related restrictions put in place in March 2020, the two plaintiffs were required to perform their duties remotely yet still accrued significant overtime hours, the case attests.
The third plaintiff, who worked for GEICO between April 2017 and July 2019, says she customarily worked between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM without taking a meal break.
GEICO, the case says, took no “affirmative good faith steps” to track or record adjusters’ wages with “reasonable accuracy and precision,” and instead directed them to enter only 7.75 hours of work per day. Per the suit, the company instructed supervisors to tell employees that 7.75 hours should be sufficient to accomplish their assigned tasks if they “were working hard and doing their jobs,” which created the conclusion that working more than eight hours per day indicated poor work performance. According to the lawsuit, this policy led to a culture of employees underreporting their work hours, and thus surrendering earned overtime wages, for fear of negative consequences. As stated in the complaint:
“Thus, GEICO created a company and class-wide policy and practice, reinforced by supervisors and GEICO company culture, that it was better for Named Plaintiffs and other similarly situated employees’ career to stay quiet and allow GEICO to steal their hours/wages rather than speak up, complain about additional compensable work hours, and risk a poor workplace reputation, negative performance reviews, and, risk additional negative workplace consequences.”
The suit goes on to allege that in instances where GEICO did pay workers for overtime hours, they were paid in the form of “comp time” banked at their regular hourly rate instead of a time-and-a-half premium rate. Per the case, state and federal law require private employers such as GEICO to compensate workers at no less than a time-and-a-half rate for all hours worked over 40 each week.
The lawsuit claims GEICO was well aware of its obligation to track and correctly compensate employees’ hours in accordance with state and federal law yet refused to do so.
Get class action lawsuit news sent to your inbox – sign up for ClassAction.org’s newsletter here.