Don’t Forget Remote Workers in Sexual Harassment Prevention Policies

| posted in Newsletter

If you have staff working from home as a result of changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, you still need to stay on top of your obligations to protect your staff from sexual harassment. Not being physically in the office doesn’t seem to have had an effect on employee sexual harassment as employers paid out more than $65 million in sexual harassment settlements and court awards in 2020, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. While most workplace sexual harassment has historically taken place in person at the workplace, a good portion has migrated online in the form of harassment…
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Health Expenses a Major Source of Mental Health Issues for U.S. Workers

| posted in Newsletter

A new study has found that more than one in four U.S. workers say expensive medical bills are having a major impact on their mental health. Mental health issues have come to the fore during the COVID-19 pandemic, spurring employers to expect their group health plans to do more for their workers in this area. The report on the study by the health care consulting company Centivo urges employers to consider new ways to reduce the medical financial burden some of their employees may be experiencing. Mental health is already on the radar of employers: Large businesses reported that addressing…
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OSHA Proposes Changes to Injury, Illness Reporting Rules

| posted in Newsletter

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has revived a regulation that would change which employers have to file their injury and illness logs electronically, in particular increasing reporting requirements for companies in high-hazard industries. The proposed regulations are similar to ones that were implemented during the tail end of the Obama administration, and that were ultimately rescinded after Donald Trump took office in 2017. The proposed regs would require increased reporting for certain employers, but the biggest worry among employers is that injury and illness information would be made public online, which they say could in turn yield public relations…
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Think Like a Risk Manager to Reduce Your Insurance Costs

| posted in Newsletter

All large corporations and national businesses have someone in charge of risk management, if not a whole department. But hiring a risk specialist or dedicating a number of employees to that kind of work is typically too expensive for most small and mid-sized companies. So, this risk mitigation typically is left to the business owner or the duties are spread among senior managers. Also, insurance companies like policyholders that try to manage their risks, and they reward them by reducing their premiums. You can reduce the cost of your insurance if you start thinking like a risk manager. You can…
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Return to Work Not Just for Workers’ Compensation Claimants

| posted in Uncategorized

More employers are using return-to-work programs for injured workers even if they were not injured on the job, according to a study by Prudential Insurance Co. of America. Many employers have a return-to-work program for their injured employees because it cuts down on workers’ comp claims costs and lets the worker get back to feeling productive. But more employers have also started returning employees to work who have been off duty due to non-job-related ailments. The survey found that 49% of large employers have a return-to-work program for their disability programs, and another 22% of employers plan to add such…
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HDHPs Can Continue Covering Telehealth with No Cost-Sharing under New Law

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An expired provision that authorized high-deductible health plans to reimburse for telehealth and other remote health care services before the deductible has been met, has been revived. The provision was extended from April 1 through Dec. 31 after President Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing emergency legislation, HDHPs had been required to cover telehealth services with no out-of-pocket costs for the health plan enrollee, but those rules expired at the end of 2021. The extension was included in the budget bill as telemedicine has grown in popularity because it’s convenient particularly…
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Emergency Escape Plans Save Employee Lives; Do You Have One?

| posted in Uncategorized

What would your employees do in an emergency? Are they prepared for the unexpected? Do they know what to do? Do they know whom to call for help? Are they qualified to help? If you answered yes to these questions, then great, but if you answered no, then you need to pay special attention. All businesses should have a written emergency plan, and you should provide all of your staff with a copy. It should include: An emergency escape plan, including procedures and escape route assignments. Procedures for employees who remain to operate critical operations before they evacuate. Procedures to…
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CalSavers Registration Deadline Looms for Small Employers

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The deadline is fast approaching for employers with 5 or more workers in California, and who do not already offer their employees a retirement plan, to register their staff for the CalSavers Retirement Savings Program. Only California employers that do not offer retirement plans are required to register for CalSavers and there are different registration deadlines depending on employer size, staggered over a few years as follows: Employers with 100 or more workers – The deadline for registration was June 30, 2020. Employers with 50 or more workers – The deadline for registration was June 30, 2021. Employers with five or…
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Small-Group Market Remains Stable under the ACA

| posted in Newsletter

A new report has concluded that the Affordable Care Act, which took full effect in 2013, did not result in a significant change in the number of employers offering health insurance, although the rate at which small employers offered coverage declined slightly by 2.6 percentage points between 2013 and 2020. The study by the Urban Institute found that the small-group health insurance market remained relatively stable during those seven years, a period marked by employers continuing to shift more of the premium burden to their employees. As of 2020, about half of small employers (companies with fewer than 50 employees)…
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8 Tips to Shorten the Life of Workers’ Comp Claims

| posted in Newsletter

One workers’ compensation claim can send your experience modifier spiraling out of control if the injured employee stays away from work for an extended period of time. The longer they are off work, the more costly the claim becomes since they will continue receiving temporary disability payments. That’s in addition to any medical expenses that are incurred. Long open claims can hurt your future insurance premiums as well, so it’s to your benefit to work with the doctor, the injured worker and the insurance company claims adjuster to get the claim closed as soon as is feasible and safe for…
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