Earthquake Risk Requires Smart Planning and Insurance

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Life in most of parts of California comes with the inherent risk that an earthquake can strike suddenly and without warning. You probably didn’t know that the state has more than 10,000 seismic events every year, but fortunately most of them are too small for people to even notice. Although the entire Northwest of the United States is at high risk of earthquakes, nine of the most costly quakes in the last century occurred in California. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there is a 70% probability that an earthquake of magnitude 6.7 or larger will strike the San Francisco Bay…
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Employers Seek New Ways to Reduce Health Insurance Inflation

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As employers anticipate that their employee health insurance costs will rise 5.5% for the 2018 policy year, they are also planning to step up their cost management efforts in new areas, according to a new study. And despite the maelstrom in Washington over how to deal with the Affordable Care Act, 92% of employers surveyed said they are “very confident” their organization will continue to sponsor health benefits in five years, according to the “Willis Towers Watson 2017 Health Care Employer Survey.” Employers will try to contain costs by exploring new strategies like emerging health care delivery systems, and arrangements…
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DOL Abandons Overtime Rule, Asks Court to OK Salary Threshold Concept

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If you remember, the Department of Labor last December was slated to implement a new white-collar overtime rule, but after business groups appealed, a federal judge in Texas issued an order temporarily blocking it days before it was due to take effect. The DOL had been continuing work on appealing the ruling but now that the Trump administration is in charge, the agency dropped its defense of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime rule. The rule would have required employers to pay overtime to workers who make less than a new threshold of $47,476, regardless of their title. So…
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Your Liability Every Time Someone Enters Your Facility

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One sure-fire way for a business to get sued is if a visitor – a customer, vendor or anyone else – injures themselves while on your premises. While you may already do all you can to keep employees and customers safe, you are likely still exposed to being sued if someone injures themselves in one of your facilities. Alhough the most common situation that comes to mind is the slip and fall accident, your liability for injuries sustained on your property extends far beyond such injuries. What you need to know It doesn’t matter if you own your building or…
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Could Your Staff Respond to a Medical Emergency?

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If one of your employees or a customer had a serious medical emergency while at work, would your staff know how to respond? Unfortunately, most U.S. employees are not prepared to handle cardiac emergencies in the workplace because they lack training in CPR and first aid, according to new survey results from the American Heart Association. The AHA found that most workers do not have access to CPR and first aid training, and half could not locate an automated external defibrillator at work. The findings reflect the poor preparation many people have for dealing with a medical emergency and, since…
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New Notice Requirement for Victims of Violence

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On July 1, a new notice requirement went into effect for California workplaces concerning the rights of victims of violence or stalking. Under the new rule, employers with 25 or more workers must provide new employees with written notice about the legal rights of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking to take time off for medical treatment and legal proceedings. The notice spells out their rights under existing California law that they are entitled to take protected time off from work to do this, meaning you cannot take action against those employees for exercising their rights under the…
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’Surf-by’ ADA Lawsuits Could be Next Legal Trap for Businesses

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No doubt you’ve heard of the “drive-by” Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuits that are filed by plaintiffs who see ADA violations at businesses (like entrances that are inaccessible by wheelchair) just by driving by the location. Now, recent court decisions could pave the way for a new class of ADA claims where disabled individuals have trouble navigating a company’s website – call them “surf-by” claims. Courts recently ruled in favor of plaintiffs who have sued retailers – in two separate lawsuits – claiming violations of Title III of the ADA by having websites that could not be used by disabled…
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Cerrina Jensen Named One of EBA’s 2017 Most Influential Women in Benefits Advising

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Each year, Employee Benefits Adviser names an exclusive group of women from around the country to its annual list of Most Influential Women in Benefits Advising. Cerrina Jensen, a member of the Leading Producers Round Table since 2012, is on this year’s list of 30 women from around the country. This prestigious award recognizes female industry leaders for a variety of achievements, including the know-how to find substantial savings for employer clients and strengthen an organization’s bottom line, such as Cerrina Jensen does in her benefits practice with CoreMark Insurance Services. Cerrina joined CoreMark in 2012, bringing with her a…
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As Competition for Talent Increases, More Employers Offer Benefits

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As competition for talent heats up, more companies are not only offering higher salaries, but also boosting their employee benefit offerings, according to a new study. Nearly 33% of organizations surveyed said they had increased their overall benefits in the last 12 months, a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) study found recently. The majority of benefits increases were in health insurance and wellness programs. On the flipside, only 6% of firms said they had reduced benefits, mostly citing the need to remain financially stable, whether it was due to increasing costs of benefits, economic factors or poor organizational performance….
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OSHA Electronic Filing Deadline Extended to December

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OSHA has issued final rules that delay for large employers and those in high-risk industries the electronic filing deadline for 2016 annual injury and illness records until Dec. 1, 2017. The new rule changes an Obama-era federal OSHA regulation that required employers with 250 workers, in addition to firms with 20 or more employees operating in various high-risk industries (such as construction, agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and retail) to file their 2016 Form 300A electronically. The original deadline was July 1. OSHA also said that the delay would give employers more time to prepare their systems for electronic submissions and get…
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