FMLA, FLSA Lawsuits Surge, Exposing Employers to Large Awards

| posted in Uncategorized

The number of employee lawsuits against employers for Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and wage and hour violations has skyrocketed in the last five years and your firm could be the next target even for a small misstep, which can be costly. The Department of Labor has increased its budget and the number of investigators pursuing employers who violate the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which covers wage and hour complaints, including exempt and non-exempt employee violations, overtime violations and similar issues. Employment law attorneys say that the surge in FMLA complaints is a result of more people knowing about…
Read More

Pay Extra Attention to Safety for Teen Workers

| posted in Blog

Summer is coming and many employers take on additional staff, including teenagers who are new to the workforce. These new workers need special attention and training in workplace safety as they have no experience on the job. Every year about 70 teenagers die while working in the U.S., while another 100,000 are injured seriously enough to require emergency room treatment. Keep in mind there’s a lot you can do to prevent injuries to your teen workers, and the measures you take to keep them safe will help protect all employees. The first thing is that you need to know the…
Read More

High-deductible Plans Gain Favor, but PPOs Still Tops

| posted in Blog

More employees than ever are opting for high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), but preferred provider organizations (PPOs) are still the most popular among group health plans, a new study has found. Thirty-four percent of employees selected an HDHP for 2016 when it was offered alongside a traditional health plan, with millennial employees over age 26 the most likely to choose the option at 40%, according to a report by benefits management technology provider Benefitfocus Inc. The company analyzed enrollment data from 2,400 midsize employers using its technology platform. The study found that 87% of midsize employers offer traditional plans – health…
Read More

Accident Insurance Can Save Your Workers from Financial Ruin

| posted in Blog

Even if you are providing your staff with health benefits, they could be left under great financial pressure if one of them has a major accident off the job that leaves them debilitated and unable to work. Millions of working Americans struggle with managing out-of-pocket expenses for non-medical and medical expenses after suffering an unexpected event such as an accident. If you are already offering your employees health insurance coverage, you can help fill the gap by also offering voluntary accident insurance, which can pay for: • Lost wages, • Deductibles and other medical expenses not covered by their insurance…
Read More

Getting around the Question of Spousal Coverage

| posted in Blog

While the Affordable Care Act requires employers to offer coverage for employees’ adult children until the age of 26, it does not require them to offer coverage to their workers’ spouses. As employers try to balance the costs of offering health coverage, spousal coverage is often on the table for cutting when making cost decisions. Many employers view offering spousal coverage as a way to keep up morale and serve as a recruitment and retention tool, but others consider the option a burden. Cutting it out completely though is often a bitter pill for many employees to swallow, particularly if…
Read More

Have Plans in Place as Mega-quake Threat Level Is Raised

| posted in Blog

The risk for a massive earthquake of magnitude 8.0 or greater has increased, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The risk of that kind of mega-quake occurring in the next three decades is now 7%, according to the survey, which just last year released a report that increased the threat level from 4.7%. It has raised the threat level again due to a better understanding that quakes are not limited to separate faults and that one can start on one fault and jump to others, resulting in a multiple faults snapping at once in a giant mega-quake. The report says…
Read More

Filing Late and Other Ways to Have Your Claim Rejected

| posted in Blog

One of the biggest mistakes you can make if you incur damage to your business premises is to wait too long before filing the claim with your insurer. The owners of Dallas Plaza Hotel learned this the hard way last month when a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that the business had waited too long to file a claim with its insurer after suffering hail damage in July 2009. The court ruled that because the hotel had waited more than 19 months to file the claim, it was impossible for the insurer, American Insurance Co., to ascertain exactly when…
Read More

PTSD Claims a Growing Workers’ Comp Problem

| posted in Blog

An emerging trend in workers’ compensation nationally is workers filing post-traumatic stress disorder claims from events that they experienced on the job. These events will typically be something traumatic like witnessing a violent event while on the job or the aftermath of a horrific accident – but not always. Most recently, the Connecticut Supreme Court held that a Federal Express Corp. driver diagnosed with PTSD in part due to his manager’s demands and stress of a really bad day is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. In that case, William D. Hart vs. Federal Express Corp. et al., the court upheld…
Read More

Protect Your Traveling Employees Through Planning, Training

| posted in Blog

If you have employees who travel as part of their job, your business has a duty to safeguard them when on the road. When on the road both domestically and abroad, accidents and other unforeseen events can occur that can put your employee at risk … from a bush crash in a Madrid to coming down with severe gastrointestinal pains in Mumbai. Meanwhile, political risk is increasing daily, and so is the threat of terrorism, as evidenced by the spate of incidents in Paris, Brussels and San Bernardino. The duty of care is on the part of the employer that…
Read More

Agency Mulls Not Counting Portion of First Aid Claims in X-Mods

| posted in Blog

California’s workers’ compensation rating agency is developing new guidelines that would exempt a portion of first aid claims from being included in the calculation of employers’ X-Mods. Under state regulations, employers are required to report injuries that require first aid and are not severe enough for the employee to seek medical treatment or miss work. But despite the rules, few employers report the claims to their insurance companies. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau hopes that creating an exemption in the experience rating plan for first aid claims and injuries would increase reporting. According to the trade press, the Rating…
Read More