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Your Last-Minute Open Enrollment Checklist

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

By now you should be prepared and ready to go for your 2020 employee benefits open enrollment. You should have all your plan documents and have prepared or held presentations for your staff to explain the benefits package and any major changes to the plans that you offer. Employees should be familiar with how to use the enrollment portal and who they should talk to if they have questions. To be on the safe side, there are a few things you should do to make sure you maximize enrollment, that your employees have the correct materials and that you are…
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Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Fall is here and you should use the time to enjoy the cool weather outdoors and take care of housekeeping chores before winter arrives. You should tackle any needed maintenance before the weather gets too cold and, if you live in a cold-weather area, you could use the time to improve the energy efficiency of your home as well as take proactive measures to prevent damage from any winter storms that may pass through. Fall Home Maintenance Checklist To help you along the way, we’ve created a handy checklist for you to follow: Chore 1: Clean gutters and downspouts Once…
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New Overtime Exemption Regs Take Effect Jan. 1, 2020

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

New federal overtime exemption regulations have finally been introduced for non-exempt workers after years of wrangling over the issue. Under the new rule, employers will be required to pay overtime to certain salaried workers who make less than to $684 per week – or $35,568 per year – up from the current threshold of $455, or $23,660 in annual salary. The new regulations are a midway point from Obama administration rules that would have seen the salary cap increased to $47,476, a move that was blocked by a court after protests from the employer community in December 2016. Because the Trump administration…
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How to Keep from Hiring a Serial Workers’ Comp Filer

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

As employers have found in the last few years, hiring has become more difficult as the labor market has tightened amid a strong economy. With slim pickings, many firms are having to settle for workers they may not normally hire – but that can lead to issues like higher turnover and workers’ comp fraud. Some employers even have a hard time finding candidates that don’t have substance abuse issues, while some people are serial workers’ comp filers, malingerers or have prior industrial injuries that can end up affecting your bottom line and X-Mod. Here are some suggestions for helping you…
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New Experience Rating, Physical Audit Levels Set

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Starting in 2020, California has established a number of new changes to X-Mod calculations, physical audit levels, and dual-wage class thresholds. X-Mod Calculations and Audits The threshold for California employers to be eligible for experience rating (X-Mod) has been reduced by order of the state insurance commissioner. Commissioner Ricardo Lara in September approved the recommendations by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau to lower thresholds for determining eligibility for experience rating and when a carrier needs to perform a physical audit of an employer’s payroll records. The threshold for physical audits that takes effect for policies incepting on or after…
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Compliance Checklist for Your Group Plan

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

As open enrollment 2020 is just around the corner, there are a few things that employers with group plans should know so they can work with us to take any necessary actions. As always, new rules are taking effect and some employers’ plans will be more affected than others. In addition, if you’ve made changes to your plans in any way, you should read this to make sure your plan is compliant with relevant laws and regulations. ACA health provider fee When the Affordable Care Act was signed into law it contained provisions to collect a 2.5% “health provider fee”…
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Newsom Signs Sweeping Independent Contractor Bill AB 5

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed legislation into law that will codify a court ruling from last year that set new ground rules for what constitutes an independent contractor, and which expands on that ruling. There’s been a lot written in the media about the legislation, AB 5, and unfortunately much of it misses the point. Some news reports have said it will spell the end of independent contractors in the state and that anyone a company hires to do a temporary job on contract must be treated as an employee, along with all of the obligations that go with…
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New Law Changes When Injuries Must Be Reported

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a measure into law that has implications for when employers are required to report serious workplace injuries to Cal/OSHA. The new law, AB 1805, broadens the scope of what will be classified as a serious illness, injury or exposure and is expected to increase the number of workplace incidents that will have to be reported, starting in 2020. California has long required that employers “immediately” report to Cal/OSHA a work-related death or serious injury or illness, and that doesn’t change under the new law. The definition of “serious injury or illness” has for decades been…
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Deadline Extended For Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

| posted in Blog

Recent legislation signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on Aug 30, 2019 extends the deadline for the California state-mandated Sexual Harassment Prevention Training, but what exactly does that mean for employers? SB 778 changes the compliance due date for some parts of SB 1343 we talked about previously, but not all of it. We’re digging into the details of the new changes so you can make any necessary changes to the training timeline for your company. Deadline Extended For Sexual Harassment Prevention Training The basics of CA SB 1343 Before we get into the changes, a quick recap on what the…
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Preparing a ‘Go-Bag’ Emergency Kit in Case of Sudden Evacuation

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

As natural catastrophes continue growing in number and severity, everybody should be prepared for quick evacuation in case of emergency. Even if you don’t live in an area known for natural disasters, you should always be prepared in case you have to make a sudden evacuation. While there is only so much planning we can do for this type of event, at the very least you should consider packing a “go-bag” emergency kit of supplies that can help keep you safe while finding a place to retreat to. When you need to leave in a hurry, depending on how much…
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