How Will COVID-19 Change Health Insurance

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

With talks of a COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon, many are asking about the long term effects of the pandemic, like how will COVID-19 change health insurance. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses and other organizations in multiple ways. Lost revenue and the overnight change to remote workforces, among other things, have caused significant changes to operations and finances. A new report shows that there will be long-term effects on employee benefit programs as well. Health insurers are forecasting continued cost increases that dwarf general inflation rates, according to the report by Mercer Marsh Benefits. Most expect 2021 medical cost inflation…
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Pandemic Telecommuting and the Wage and Hour Dilemma

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

With the coronavirus pandemic forcing so many employees to work remotely, and with mobile technology allowing them to work from anywhere, your employees may be working when they are off the clock. They may feel pressured to do so or maybe they just want to get their work done, but if they are working past normal working hours, it could spell trouble for your organization in the form of wage and hour disputes. The proliferation of smartphones had already led to a rising number of lawsuits by employees claiming they were required to work uncompensated on evenings and weekends when…
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How to Reduce the Risk of Theft, Vandalism at Your Business

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Protecting your business from burglary, robbery, and vandalism is crucial as they can be particularly devastating to small businesses in terms of money, customers, and employee safety. You can see thousands of dollars of merchandise or equipment damaged or stolen, and your employees and customers can be in mortal danger if your facility is robbed. These types of risks to your business are unpredictable, but there are crime prevention steps business owners can take to protect their assets and employees. How To Protect Your Business Burglary prevention Establish and enforce clear policies about employee theft, substance abuse, crime reporting, opening…
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Pandemic Puts Spotlight on Financial Employee Benefits

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

With so many people facing challenging circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic, employees are now looking to their employers for value-added voluntary benefits and financial employee benefits that protect their and their families’ health and finances, a new study has found. According to the study conducted by Prudential Life Insurance, 40% of U.S workers are planning to buy life insurance to cover unexpected life events and provide financial protection. The good news is that there are a variety of employee benefit plans designed to help safeguard employees’ finances and health during this unprecedented time. Beyond the traditional retirement and health care…
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COVID-19 Workers’ Comp Claims Grow, While Overall Claims Plummet

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

While the number of COVID-19 workers’ comp cases filed in California continues to grow, total workplace injury and illness claims in the state have fallen nearly 20% so far in 2020 compared to 2019. Through September, the state had recorded 47,412 COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims, accounting for 11.1% of all claims reported since the start of the year. During that same period, California workers filed 425,280 workers’ compensation claims, down 19% from the first nine months of 2019. COVID-19 case numbers The first COVID-19 cases among California workers were filed in March. They peaked in July and started to decline…
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Don’t Get Caught without a Business Succession Plan

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Many business owners may be good at running their companies, but many are failing to address essential long-term planning that is critical to sustaining their businesses. The one area that the majority of business owners often neglect is planning for business continuity and a buy-sell agreement if they die or become disabled, according to the “MassMutual Business Owner Perspectives Study.” While the question of your death or disablement is not one that’s fun to ponder, it makes good sense for business owners to put plans in place in case the worst happens. This is especially important now amid the COVID-19…
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Mandatory Employer Sign-ups for CalSavers Have Begun

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

If your company does not offer its staff a 401(k) plan, you need to be aware of deadlines for registering your employees in the CalSavers Retirement Savings Program. The program is designed to help California workers who do not have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan start socking away money for their retirement. Employers with five or more workers are required to give their employees access to the CalSavers program, which was launched in 2019. CalSavers deadlines Deadlines for when employers have to adopt the program depends on their size: Businesses with more than 100 employees: Sept. 30, 2020 Businesses…
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New Law AB 2257 Adds Independent Contractor Exemptions

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A new law has come to the rescue of a number of freelance professions by exempting them from the onerous requirements of AB 5, which required most independent contractors to be classified as employees in California. Governor Gavin Newsom on Sept. 1 signed AB 2257 as an urgency measure, so that it took effect immediately after it passed unanimously in both houses of the state Legislature. If you remember, AB 5 set a new standard for hiring independent contractors, requiring many to be reclassified as employees covered by minimum wage, overtime, workers’ compensation, unemployment and disability insurance. It created a…
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Cal/OSHA Conducts COVID-19 Sweeps, Proposes Huge Fines

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Cal/OSHA COVID-19 inspections and subsequent fines have caught some employers off guard. The agency has been conducting sweeps of employers in California to root out those who are not protecting their workers from COVID-19 exposure. Cal/OSHA has targeted companies in industries that have a heightened risk of exposure to the coronavirus, which resulted in 11 citations being issued. While Cal/OSHA has been inspecting facilities since April for COVID-19-related infractions, the recent sweeps are part of a new targeted and ongoing enforcement effort that California employers should be aware of. Cal/OSHA COVID-19 inspections & fines issued For an example of what’s at…
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Seven Tips for Prepping Your Home for Autumn

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

As the temperature starts dropping and harsher weather looms in the coming months, now is the time to get your home ready. Taking steps now to protect your home and belongings can help you enter the new season worry-free, and you might save money in the process. We’ve compiled our top seven tips for prepping your home for Autumn. Prepping Your Home For Fall: Clean your furnace and switch out filters Check your furnace for soot, ignition problems, pilot-light health and the state of other components to make your home ready for fall. You should also clean up dust and…
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