A very important case is being tried in Ohio, with jury selection beginning this week: Jammal vs American Family Insurance. The court has reserved three weeks for this trial. The basis is as follows:
The Complaint alleges that American Family improperly classifies its agents as independent contractors when they are actually employees, reserving the right to exercise complete control over every important aspect of the agent-employees’ businesses. Examples of American Family’s control include, but are not limited to, maintaining ownership over their books of business, requiring them to sell only American Family insurance (excluding even products which American Family does not offer), requiring them to follow American Family’s policies and procedures, and controlling the day-to-day operations of every aspect of the agent-employee’s business, like business hours, computer and telephone systems and who the agent-employee can hire and fire.
This has turned into a class action status for all AMFAM agents who were denied benefits under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA
). The outcome will effect not only AMFAM current and past agents, but most likely all other captives out there.
Over $2 billion has been reserved by AMFAM, and as hard as their lawyers tried, they could not get this case shut down and delayed any longer. Believe me, they tried every delay and venue change in the book.
Tip of the iceberg, if you ask me. For my 22 years of service, I expect to at least get a couple free car washes.!
Let's all root for the little guy!