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Re Appraiser (employee-appraisers) Unpaid Wages. Classaction.org

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Mike Kennedy

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Sep 28, 2003
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New York
Real estate appraisers who weren't paid overtime.

https://www.classaction.org/real-estate-appraiser-unpaid-wages

Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are investigating whether real estate appraisers who weren’t paid overtime can start class action lawsuits. They have reason to believe a number of companies may have misclassified their staff appraisers as “exempt” from overtime pay – meaning they may not be getting the extra pay they’re owed when working more than 40 hours a week. One lawsuit against a Bank of America subsidiary has already been filed and settled, awarding an average payout of $100,000 per staff appraiser.

Just because your employer says you’re an exempt employee, however, doesn’t mean you actually are. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed on behalf of workers who say their employers intentionally misclassified them as exempt to avoid paying overtime.
 

panappr

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Just received my first consent to join collective action from an LLP out of Houston... It is based on the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act for the 40hr work week... but it doesn't say how far back they go... I haven't worked for an institution in over 20 yrs??? Besides they're all long gone... We used to put in 60-70 hours a week.:eyecrazy:
 
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Terrel L. Shields

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Arkansas
As labor and IRS cracks down on AMC claims that they are not acting as an employer rather than contracting services, you may see the legal beagles get more involved in our business. The Business card thread suggests to me that AMCs are now going to have to document that their minions are actually "contractors" and not slaves..err...employees. Let the games begin.

Wanna know how it starts? Some poor slob gets to April 15th and cannot pay their taxes. The IRS asks why didn't your taxes get taken out of your check? And they say, "Well, they told me I was a trainee but I needed be "independent"...so you have anyone with a trainee in real danger of paying a lot of back taxes.

I saw two oilfield service companies that used contractors like me but paid regular salaries on a day rate get hammered by the IRS. Both nearly went under. I had warned one of them when they didn't take out of my check (although I worked exclusively for them) and to this day I bet they think I am the one who turned them into the IRS. I wasn't. But I bet one of the "newbies" got behind on taxes and the IRS inquired why.
 

hastalavista

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May 16, 2005
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Certified General Appraiser
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California
Hmm.... they do not appear to be the only ones (or, I just received something that is related)...

I received a letter in the mail today (mass mailing; looks like they are sending it to all appraisers) from Kennedy/Hodges, LLP; a legal firm located in Houston. They are soliciting appraisers to sign-up with them for potential class action suits.

Here is the website where one can sign-up: https://rightsignature.com/forms/Appraiser-Wage-Cl-aed27d/token/f3187850fd9

In the letter I received, they reference the same case (Boyd, et al. v. Bank of America) as the reference which Mike posted.

This appears to be a general request; in other words, they are not targeting any particular lender, AMC, etc., at this time. If you sign-up, you become one of their clients and authorize them to pursue any and all cases you may have.
 

Eli

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May 12, 2007
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
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Tennessee
As labor and IRS cracks down on AMC claims that they are not acting as an employer rather than contracting services, you may see the legal beagles get more involved in our business. The Business card thread suggests to me that AMCs are now going to have to document that their minions are actually "contractors" and not slaves..err...employees. Let the games begin.

Wanna know how it starts? Some poor slob gets to April 15th and cannot pay their taxes. The IRS asks why didn't your taxes get taken out of your check? And they say, "Well, they told me I was a trainee but I needed be "independent"...so you have anyone with a trainee in real danger of paying a lot of back taxes.

I saw two oilfield service companies that used contractors like me but paid regular salaries on a day rate get hammered by the IRS. Both nearly went under. I had warned one of them when they didn't take out of my check (although I worked exclusively for them) and to this day I bet they think I am the one who turned them into the IRS. I wasn't. But I bet one of the "newbies" got behind on taxes and the IRS inquired why.

I can tell you how it begins. With a good lawyer, either private or public. The motivations may be a little different whether private or public, but I wouldn't count the IRS out either on employee vs independent contractor. New poll. Lol
 

USPAP Compliant

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Jan 15, 2002
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Certified Residential Appraiser
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North Carolina
Any appraiser, AMC, lender or other participant that does not know who is the employee, employer, independent contractor etc. and who is not is just too stupid to hold any of those positions. It is really not complex at all. The IRS will gladly explain the difference for any appraisers who is is too dumb to figure it out for themselves.
 

BarrySW1963

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Jul 22, 2010
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Texas
Any appraiser, AMC, lender or other participant that does not know who is the employee, employer, independent contractor etc. and who is not is just too stupid to hold any of those positions. It is really not complex at all. The IRS will gladly explain the difference for any appraisers who is is too dumb to figure it out for themselves.

I don't think it's the appraisers who don't get it. I think it is the AMCs that are exerting too much control over the appraiser during the time between acceptance and delivery that are flirting with the line. Schedule control, required updates with penalties for not doing certain tasks within X amount of time from when they tell you to, how to dress, how to present yourself, what you can or can't say, no concealed carry, etc.
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2007
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
SNIP... Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are investigating whether real estate appraisers who weren’t paid overtime can start class action lawsuits. They have reason to believe a number of companies may have misclassified their staff appraisers as “exempt” from overtime pay – meaning they may not be getting the extra pay they’re owed when working more than 40 hours a week. One lawsuit against a Bank of America subsidiary has already been filed and settled, awarding an average payout of $100,000 per staff appraiser.
I love that this was correctly placed in the "improving the profession" forum. If only fee "sweat" shop fee-split employees could get in on the deal it will no longer be possible to get 70+ hours a week out of them without compensation, artificially suppressing fees overall. Not likely, but just-compensation at the fee-split employee level is a real problem for our industry.
 

Eli

Elite Member
Joined
May 12, 2007
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Tennessee
EEOC carry a big stick.

https://www.eeoc.gov/

So does the department of labor wage and hour division:

https://www.dol.gov/whd/

No telling what a carefully crafted petition signed by many would do with either one. But it would make headlines if carefully done. It would need either an insider knowing how to craft it or a labor lawyer skilled in labor law.

Yes, the FTC and State governments would need a CC.
 
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huntercharlie

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Aug 11, 2010
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
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California
I received one a month or two ago. I'm pretty certain it came from a law firm in Northern California but unfortunately I threw it out, so I can't confirm.
 
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