Employers Seek New Ways to Reduce Health Insurance Inflation

| posted in Blog

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…
Read More

New Notice Requirement for Victims of Violence

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

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…
Read More

As Competition for Talent Increases, More Employers Offer Benefits

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

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….
Read More

Pay Attention to Policy Milestones to Reduce Workers’ Comp Costs

| posted in Blog

Once they’ve paid their annual premium, many employers pay scant attention to their workers’ comp policy until the renewal date starts closing in. Unfortunately, that’s not the best time to attempt to control costs. Because workers’ comp is one of the most loss-sensitive insurance policies, and as claims can sometimes be paid out for decades, it’s incumbent on you to proactively manage claims. One way to do that is through a quarterly claims review process, the timing of which is in line with the calculation of your company’s Experience Modification Factor (X-Mod), which is the one factor you can control…
Read More

How Management Can Demonstrate Safety Buy-In

| posted in Blog

We’ve had many articles about workplace safety and that in order for you to have a successful workplace safety program you need not only employee buy-in, but also management buy-in. If the management can show its leadership and commitment to promoting and ensuring a safe workplace, getting staff to fall in line is easier. Dr. Isabel Perry, CEO of The Safety Doctor, a workplace safety app, recently posted a blog about the 18 examples of management involvement she has observed visiting job sites and conducting workplace safety interviews, benchmarking, safety conferences and more. These are the specific examples she identified…
Read More

Will OSHA Conduct an Inspection after an Employee Complaint?

| posted in Blog

OSHA will make inspections of a workplace for a variety of reasons, including following a worker injury and always after a worker’s death. Inspections may also occur randomly or part of a program aimed at a particular industry that OSHA has decided to target. The other way an inspection may occur – and the main focus of this article – is if an employee contacts the agency to complain about possible safety violations. These complaints may or may not result in an inspection of your workplace based on certain conditions, including the timing of the complaint. Under OSHA regulations, a…
Read More

OSHA Pulls the Plug on Electronic Reporting Rules

| posted in Blog

Federal OSHA has suspended its much anticipated and dreaded electronic filing rules for workplace injury and illness records. The rules, put in place during the Obama Administration, would have required organizations with 250 or more employees to submit electronically information from OSHA Forms 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses), 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses), and 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report). The same rules would also apply to employers with between 20 and 249 employees in certain industries, including agriculture, construction, manufacturing, retail and transportation. A major thrust of the rules was to name and shame employers…
Read More

Legislation Would Let Employees Trade O.T. for Vacation Time

| posted in Blog

A newly proposed bill would change the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime mandate to allow workers to trade overtime pay for compensatory time off. Introduced by Martha Roby, a Republican from Alabama, the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017 would: Cap the amount of paid time off that workers can accrue each year at 160 hours. Require employers to pay out annually any unused comp time. Give employers 30 days to pay out any unused comp time beyond 80 hours. Require employers to pay out any unused comp time accrued upon termination for any reason.   Under current FLSA rules,…
Read More

Rating Bureau Recommends Benchmark Rate Decrease for California Employers

| posted in Blog

IN A SURPISE move, the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California has filed a recommendation to reduce average baseline rates on policies by 7.8% at the mid-year mark. The mid-year reduction to the baseline rate is largely the result of reforms that were introduced in 2013 that have sped up the settlement process for claims (including many long-term claims), in addition to reducing medical costs. Also, because of these reforms the cost of adjusting workers’ comp claims in California has dropped over the past few years. Insurance carriers use the benchmark rate – also known as the pure premium…
Read More

EEOC Says Use of Service Dog is ‘Reasonable Accommodation’ under ADA

| posted in Blog

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sued an employer for refusing to hire a job applicant because he used a service dog. In the complaint filed in March, the EEOC accused the employer of failing to accommodate, refusing to hire and retaliating against the man who’d applied for a truck driver position. The action illustrates just how broadly the EEOC construes the Americans with Disabilities Act when it comes to individuals who rely on service or comfort animals to cope with their disabilities. In the case at hand, the applicant had been admitted to driver training with the trucking firm’s…
Read More