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GEICO Auto Damage Adjuster Trainees

Ayala et al v. Government Insurance Employees Ins. Co.
Court File No. 7:18-cv-03583 (Southern District of New York)

In April 2018, we filed an overtime case for current and former auto damage adjusters who participated in GEICO’s auto damage adjuster training program.  The trainees allege GEICO violated state and federal law when it limited the amount of overtime it paid for time they spent on mandatory studying and homework assignments during GEICO’s 5 to 7-week training course.

The Complaint is filed as a collective action under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and as a class action under New York and California laws, and seeks unpaid overtime, double damages, and additional state law damages.

Nichols Kaster, PLLP has partnered with attorneys Gregg Shavitz and Michael Palitz with the law firm Shavitz Law Group in this matter. 

THE DEADLINE TO JOIN IS MAY 21, 2019.

Type of Case

Unpaid Training Time

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Am I eligible?

If you worked for GEICO as an Auto Damage Adjuster at any time between April 2015 and the present and were not paid an overtime premium during training of 1.5 times your regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek (for example, time spent studying training materials and preparing for exams), you may have a claim under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act for additional compensation and double damages. If you trained in New York during the last six years or California during the last four years, you may have additional claims under state law.

Additional Information

Which Locations Are Included?

This case seeks to include AITs who worked for GEICO anywhere across the country.

What Time Frame Does This Case Cover?

There is a time limit under federal law, called a statute of limitations, that allows an employee to recover unpaid wages for hours worked within two years of the individual signing up to join the lawsuit by completing the consent form referenced above. If we can prove that GEICO willfully violated the law, the statute of limitations may be extended to three years.

The statutes of limitations is six years under New York law and four years under California law.

Do I Have To Pay Anything?

You do not have to pay anything to us if you join the lawsuit. We are handling this case on a contingency basis. This means we will only be paid if the lawsuit is successful in obtaining relief either through a settlement or a final judgment, and that payment will only come out of that settlement or final judgment.

How Do I Prove I Worked Overtime?

If you have records related to your work with GEICO, please preserve and keep them until we ask you for them. However, you do not need to have records of your work hours to participate in this case. If GEICO did not keep accurate time records, or permit you to record all of your time worked, most courts will permit you to make a good faith estimate of your work hours. We will seek any records the company may have of your hours worked through this lawsuit. Please ensure you do not destroy any documents or data you have that relate in any way to your work for GEICO.

What About Retaliation?

It is against the law for an employer to retaliate against a person for joining a lawsuit to reclaim unpaid wages. If you suffer retaliation, you may have additional claims against your employer. If you currently work for GEICO and you believe you may be the victim of retaliation for joining or participating in this lawsuit, contact us immediately.

How Long Will This Case Take?

The length of this kind of lawsuit varies from case to case, but they typically last one to three years.

Is There Money Available Now?

No. This is a pending lawsuit. There is no money currently available and there is no guarantee that you will receive money for participating in the lawsuit.

How Can I Help?

Right now, we are hoping to talk to as many employees as possible to learn more about their potential claims. If you work or worked as an AIT or have information regarding AITs at GEICO, please contact the case clerk, Max Mlinar, at mmlinar@nka.com or call (612) 256-3238.

How Do I Learn More?

To learn more about this case, feel free to contact the case clerk, Max Mlinar, at mmlinar@nka.com or call (612) 256-3238.

Case Updates

  • April 3, 2019

    GEICO Auto Damage Adjuster Trainee Update

    We are currently in what is called the discovery phase.  This is where each side tries to get information that is helpful to win their case.  So far, we have taken the depositions of GEICO’s corporate representative Timothy Hession, and two trainers/managers, Anthony Visalli and Barret Lawson.  We have also been collecting data and documents from GEICO that we think will be useful at trial. 

    The Court recently agreed with us that only a small group of workers will be participating in discovery, and that participation will be limited and not burdensome.  This means some plaintiffs might have to appear for a short deposition close to where they live, which will be an opportunity to answer questions about the unpaid study time.  These depositions will also be a good chance for our clients to tell their story about the long hours and challenging nature of the training.  We will be in touch with our clients who are selected for a deposition in the coming months.  Nearly 400 people from around the country have joined this case so far.

  • December 13, 2018

    Court Certifies Unpaid Overtime Case for GEICO Auto-Adjusters-in-Training Represented by Shavitz Law Group and Nichols Kaster, PLLP

    On December 5, 2018, a New York federal court granted conditional certification of an overtime case for current and former auto damage adjusters nationally who participated in GEICO’s auto damage adjuster training program.  The trainees allege GEICO violated state and federal law when it limited the amount of overtime it paid for time they spent on mandatory studying and homework assignments during GEICO’s 5 to 7-week training course. 

    The court ordered GEICO to produce a list of current and former auto damage adjuster trainees so class counsel can send them a notice, which advises them of their rights and their ability to make a claim for their unpaid overtime by returning a consent to join form. The notice will be sent to those trainees who attended the auto damage adjuster training during the past 3 years.

    Plaintiffs are represented by Gregg Shavitz and Michael Palitz of Shavitz Law Group, and Michele Fisher and Neil Pederson of Nichols Kaster, PLLP.  Fisher commented regarding the case, “when an employer has a mandatory training program such as the one GEICO had, it has a legal obligation to ensure it is paying trainees for all time worked, including study time. The training program is known and touted by GEICO as challenging and a tremendous amount of work.  With daily tests and quizzes, and high grade point average requirements for successful completion, this demanded more after hours work than GEICO paid.  We seek to get these trainees paid for the unpaid hours they worked during this training.” 

  • December 13, 2018

    Court Grants Motion for Conditional Certification Under the Fair Labor Standards Act - GEICO Case Update

    Good news.  On December 5, 2018, the court granted conditional certification of this overtime case for current and former auto damage adjusters who participated in GEICO’s auto damage adjuster training program.  The trainees allege GEICO violated state and federal law when it limited the amount of overtime it paid for time they spent on mandatory studying and homework assignments during GEICO’s 5 to 7-week training course.

    The court’s order instructs GEICO to provide a list of current and former auto damage adjuster trainees so class counsel can send them a notice, which advises them of their rights and their ability to make a claim for their unpaid overtime by returning a consent to join form. The notice will be sent to those trainees who attended the auto damage adjuster training during the past 3 years.  Those who are already signed up, do not need to sign up again.

  • September 9, 2018

    GEICO Auto Adjusters Update

    Collecting Information

    Our mediation to attempt to settle was unsuccessful and the parties are now proceeding with litigation.  We will meet with the Court in mid-September to set a schedule for the case.  In the meantime, we are collecting information about GEICO's policy and practice of not paying for certain time spent studying and completing assignments during training.  If you are a client and have not yet provided us with information about your unpaid time, please contact our clerk Max at mmlinar@nka.com.  If you have not yet joined the case and would like to make a claim in this case for unpaid training time, click on the Join the Case button on this webpage.

  • July 20, 2018

    GEICO Auto Adjusters – Unpaid Training Time - Update July 20, 2018

    We are pleased to report that we will be attending a mediation in New York with GEICO’s attorneys on August 10, 2018 to see if we can reach a fair and reasonable settlement. If the case resolves, we will go through a process to get court approval of the settlement. If it does not settle, we will start the discovery process where the parties seek information, data, and documents to establish their case. This case is at the early stages, which means we are still allowing people to make a claim for unpaid overtime by submitting a Consent Form by clicking on the “Join this Case” button above.

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