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Final Regulations for Wellness Plans Limit Incentives at 30%

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has released final regulations for employer-sponsored wellness programs under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. The final rules take effect at the start of 2017 and affect all wellness plans for employees and their family members, even those plans that don’t also require By Cerrina Jensen | June 23, 2016 | Uncategorized Read More Dollarphotoclub_77824103

Why Your Company Needs a Total Ban on Cell-phone Use

Distracted driving from smart phone use while driving is becoming one of the leading causes of accidents in the U.S., and for the first time overall roadway deaths and injuries have started rising again despite regular advancements in car safety – a change that experts attribute to the scourge. And as if that news is By Cerrina Jensen | June 22, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More truck

If You’re Leasing a Vehicle, Put It in Your Company’s Name

YOU’RE SUCCESSFUL at running your business and you decide it’s time for a new car. You want to take advantage of the great leasing deals many carmakers have on offer, so one weekend you enter into a lease for that vehicle. On Monday you tell your bookkeeper to add the car to your company’s business By Cerrina Jensen | June 17, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More Workers-Compensation

OSHA Sets Limits on Drug Testing Injured Workers

Employers are not allowed to have a blanket policy of requiring drug and alcohol tests after a workplace injury as it may discourage injury reporting, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has said in an interpretation letter. It issued the letter in response to a company’s blanket policy after some intoxicated workers had been By Cerrina Jensen | June 14, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More signed-documents

New California Law Effectively Invalidates Some HSAs

A new California law that took effect this year bars health insurers from imposing higher deductibles on an individual just because they are part of a group health plan. But the new law contradicts federal legislation and many legal observers say the wording of it would essentially invalidate health savings account (HSA) plans that have By Cerrina Jensen | June 10, 2016 | Uncategorized Read More fam

How Your Staff Can Save 20-40% on Health Services and Childcare

ONE OF the most underused employee benefits available is the “cafeteria” plan – which can benefit both the employer and the employee. These plans allow workers to withhold a portion of their pre-tax salary to cover certain medical or childcare expenses. When their workers’ taxable income is reduced, it increases their take-home pay. This in By Cerrina Jensen | June 8, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More computer-hands

Despite Cyber Threat, Few Firms Train Staff in Security

Even the most up-to-date firewall and virus protection will not protect you against the biggest threat to your organization’s cyber security – your employees themselves. Despite this only 45% of companies train their workers in how to prevent breaches, according to a new report released by the Ponemon Institute, even though 55% of organizations surveyed By Cerrina Jensen | June 8, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More shutterstock_148295264

Crackdown on Employers Who Shunt Employees onto Medicare

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is stepping up efforts to root out employers who have improperly put workers who were eligible for the company’s group health plan into Medicare. Under the law, employers are prohibited from offering incentives of any kind to a Medicare-eligible individual to enroll in Medicare instead of the By Cerrina Jensen | June 1, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More contr

OSHA Gets Tough on Audits and Penalties, May Affect Employers Earlier than Expected

Those higher fines that federal OSHA plans on implementing Aug. 1, can actually start applying to any workplace safety violations that were cited in inspections as early as February of this year. That’s because OSHA can take as long as six months after an inspection to issue citations and the penalties it proposes for the By Cerrina Jensen | May 27, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

A Guide to The DOL’s New Overtime Regulations

The Department of Labor has more than doubled the salary threshold for exempt employees to $47,476, which means anyone earning less than that must be eligible for overtime if they work more than 40 hours a week. The increase equates to a minimum salary of $913 per week, compared to the current $455 per week By Cerrina Jensen | May 25, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

FMLA, FLSA Lawsuits Surge, Exposing Employers to Large Awards

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 By Cerrina Jensen | May 20, 2016 | Uncategorized Read More

Pay Extra Attention to Safety for Teen Workers

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 By Cerrina Jensen | May 18, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

High-deductible Plans Gain Favor, but PPOs Still Tops

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 By Cerrina Jensen | May 13, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

Accident Insurance Can Save Your Workers from Financial Ruin

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 By Cerrina Jensen | May 11, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

Getting around the Question of Spousal Coverage

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. By Cerrina Jensen | May 6, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

Lights Out Shout-Out : Didiya

In this month’s edition of the Lights Out Shout-Out, we are sharing a recent story of hard work and initiative by Account Manager Didiya that meant big savings for a client. This particular client actually had two separate accounts that had been combined by a previous broker. Upon CoreMark taking over the policy, we saw it should By Amy Morrow | May 4, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

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

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 By Cerrina Jensen | May 4, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

Filing Late and Other Ways to Have Your Claim Rejected

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 By Cerrina Jensen | April 29, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

PTSD Claims a Growing Workers’ Comp Problem

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 By Cerrina Jensen | April 27, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

Protect Your Traveling Employees Through Planning, Training

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 By Cerrina Jensen | April 22, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

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

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. By Cerrina Jensen | April 19, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

Seven Tips for Navigating a Workers’ Comp Audit

No business ever wants to be audited, but in the world of workers’ compensation insurance it’s a regular occurrence that does not need to be a stressful event. A workers’ comp audit by your insurer is common for most mid-sized or larger employers, and the audit threshold in California is $16,000 or more in annual By Cerrina Jensen | April 15, 2016 | Blog, Uncategorized Read More

Does Business Interruption Insurance Cover Partial Shutdown?

What happens if your business suffers property damage or a supply chain disruption and is forced to stop operations either fully or partially? Will your insurance cover the work stoppage or slowdown? It is important to understand how your insurance can protect you from the resulting financial loss. In addition to potential recovery for property By Cerrina Jensen | April 13, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

Agency Recommends Further Rate Cuts for California Employers

The reforms that were ushered in by the state Legislature in 2012 seem to be paying off, with the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California recommending that benchmark rates be cut by an average of 5% in July. The Rating Bureau has forwarded its recommendation for a mid-year rate cut to the California Department By Cerrina Jensen | April 8, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

New Workplace Notice Requirements Take Effect

IF YOU have more than five employees you are required to have in place as of April 1 anti-discrimination, anti-harassment and complaint investigation policies. You are also required to post starting April 1 a notification to your employees about California’s pregnancy disability leave law. The regulations, updated by the California Fair Employment and Housing Council, By Cerrina Jensen | April 6, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

Vehicle Crashes on and off the Job Cost Employers Dearly

The costs for businesses when their employees are involved in car accidents on and off the job are staggering, at $47.4 billion a year, according to a new study. The “Cost of Vehicle Crashes to Employers – 2015” study, by the Network for Employers for Traffic Safety, looked at how much car crashes cost businesses By Cerrina Jensen | April 1, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

Exclusions: What Your Cyber Policy Does Not Cover

As the threat of hacking and cyber attacks on the databases of all organizations grows, so has the uptake of cyber insurance policies. But when buying a policy and anticipating a claim, it’s important to know exactly what’s covered. All insurance policies have exclusions for what’s not covered but, since cyber insurance is new to By Cerrina Jensen | March 30, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

Telemedicine Can Reduce Premium Costs, Save Time

MORE AND more health plans and employers are embracing telemedicine as part of their health insurance offerings, in order to help enrollees who may live far from their doctor – and to save money. A 2014 study by the consulting firm Deloitte calculated that there would be 75 million virtual doctor visits in Northern America By Cerrina Jensen | March 25, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

Workplace Bullying Can Cost Your Company

WORKPLACE BULLYING poses a major risk to companies that fail to take action against a problem employee who is pushing others around at work. You can be sued and be facing a hefty damages tab like the $2 million that Microsoft Corp was ordered by a court to pay out after it allowed bully managers By Cerrina Jensen | March 24, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

Watch Out for the Newest Cyber Threat: Ransomware

The cyber-security stakes have gotten higher for enterprises with the recent news that a hospital in Los Angeles had to fork out $17,000 to pay cyber criminals after they crippled its network. The ransomware that infected Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center and the ransom they had to pay the hackers to unlock their system reflect the By Cerrina Jensen | March 18, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

Protect Your Workers’ Eyesight with Proper Design, Vision Benefits

One of the by-products of the digital revolution – with most people staring many hours each day at tablets, smart phones and computers – is eye strain. According to The Vision Council, the average U.S. adult spends more than two hours a day looking at electronic screens. Looking at such screens for too long can By Cerrina Jensen | March 15, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

Strong Return-to-work Program Key to Keeping Claim Costs Down

One of the proven ways to reduce the cost of a workers’ comp claim is to get the injured worker back on the job whenever it is safe to do so. Preferably, employers should offer some type of modified work duty if they are still recovering from their injury and if that injury impedes them By Cerrina Jensen | March 12, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

California Wage & Hour Violations Can Create Personal Liability

A new California law gives the state labor commissioner expansive new powers to go after employers that have judgments against them for non-payment of wages, including issuing stop-work orders and holding officers personally liable. The Fair Day’s Pay Act, which took effect Jan. 1, adds a whole new section to the state Labor Code aimed By Cerrina Jensen | March 10, 2016 | Uncategorized Read More

Trimming Hours to Avoid Employer Mandate Can Land You in Hot Water

Ever since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, critics of the law have said that employers would cut staff or reduce workers’ hours to avoid coming under the employer mandate requiring them to provide coverage for their staff. But a decision by a federal judge not to dismiss a lawsuit against an employer for doing By Cerrina Jensen | March 4, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

Metal Spectrum Plans Expected to Become the Norm

One of the positive aspects of the Affordable Care Act is that it gives employers the chance to offer a wide range of plans that let workers pick the coverage that’s right for them. You can do this by offering “metallic spectrum plans,” each of which has different values and costs. Bronze, silver, gold and By Cerrina Jensen | March 1, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

Diabetes Wellness Programs Can Boost Productivity, Reduce Expenses

Physicians and employee health experts are increasingly recommending that employers include diabetes screening, prevention and management in their company-sponsored wellness programs. Diabetes – known as the “silent killer” – afflicts more than 29 million Americans, or 9% of the population. Type 2 diabetes – or “adult-onset diabetes” – accounts for about 90% to 95% of By Cerrina Jensen | February 23, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

Cumulative Trauma Claims Rising Fast

A new and costly trend is affecting workers’ compensation as more cases involve what’s known as “cumulative trauma” – or injuries that develop over an extended period of time from repetitive or continuous motions. Often these injuries are due to excessive wear and tear on tendons, muscles and sensitive nerve tissue that can leave a By Cerrina Jensen | February 19, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

EEOC’s Data Collection Proposal Could Spike Litigation against Employers

A new proposal by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to collect pay data from all organizations with more than 100 employees would likely open up employers to further litigation and regulatory actions. The EEOC says it wants to use this data to identify areas of possible pay discrimination. But this fresh trove of data By Cerrina Jensen | February 17, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

How to Avoid Having Your Cyber Claim Denied

You no doubt have seen our admonitions about the need for businesses to secure cyber insurance policies that can help defray the costs of an attack on your network or a theft of your employees’ or clients’ personally identifiable information. Businesses are faced with increasing threats and cyber criminals are constantly working to devise new By Cerrina Jensen | February 12, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

Business Interruption Claims Grow in Number and Cost

As the world becomes more interconnected and natural disasters increase in frequency, more firms are dealing with costlier and costlier business interruption losses. Business interruptions were the top risk to organizations cited by risk managers surveyed in the report, “Global Claims Review 2015: Business Interruption In Focus,” from Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty. The study By Cerrina Jensen | February 9, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

Identifying Problem Workers’ Comp Claims, Fraud with Predictive Modeling

With decades of information in their databases, many insurers have started using those statistics to their advantage to intervene earlier in problem claims and to identify potential fraud. With years of data to rely on, insurers have identified certain triggers that can indicate that a claim may require additional intervention and more hands-on management. The By Cerrina Jensen | February 5, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

The Next Wave in Workplace Safety: Wearables

As our workplaces and operations continue to evolve, the next frontier is wearable technology for workplace safety. Some companies have started testing various types of wearable technology to reduce injuries in a number of industries, including oil fields, construction sites, mines, power plants, shipyards, warehouses, manufacturing, aviation and logistics. Hands-free wearables can be employed to By Cerrina Jensen | February 3, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

Lights Out Service!

“Lights Out Service” started as an internal service mantra – referencing the light that illuminates when an employee has an unheard voicemail. Lights Out Services simply means we are available when our clients need us and respond quickly in the event we miss their call. What started out as such a simple concept has evolved By Amy Morrow | February 1, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

The Delicate Subject of Cash in Lieu of Coverage

What if you hire a new employee, who rejects your offer of health benefits because they want to stay on their spouse’s plan and they ask for a higher rate of pay instead? The “employer shared responsibility” requirement of the Affordable Care Act bars employers – with the threat of a $36,500 penalty – from By Cerrina Jensen | January 29, 2016 | Blog, insurance, Newsletter Read More

Court Says Okay to Fire Medical Pot User Who Fails Drug Test

As more and more states legalize marijuana for personal or medical use, employers have grown increasingly concerned about what they can and cannot do to enforce their existing drug policies. A federal court in New Mexico has dismissed a case brought by an employee who was terminated after testing positive for marijuana, despite the worker By Cerrina Jensen | January 27, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

Staffing Agency and Temp Workers and Your ACA Obligations

If you use a staffing agency or temp workers, there is an added complexity to how you calculate your employees for the sake of the Affordable Care Act “pay or play” rules. As you know, if you have 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees, you are required to secure health insurance for your By Cerrina Jensen | January 22, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

Post Cal/OSHA Form 300A by Feb. 1

Employers with 10 or more employees are required to post their 2015 Cal/OSHA 300A form starting on Feb. 1 until April 1. Form 300A reports an employer’s total number of deaths, missed workdays, job transfers or restrictions, and injuries and illnesses as recorded on Form 300. It also includes the number of workers and the By Cerrina Jensen | January 19, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

Covering Business Interruptions from System Failures, Cyber Attacks

As businesses become more connected and rely on their networks, websites and outside cloud services to conduct their operations, failure on any of these fronts poses a serious risk. Your networks, websites and cloud services can all go down for various reasons like system crashes, hardware or electrical failures, or hacking and cyber attacks. Any By Cerrina Jensen | January 15, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

Open Enrollment is Coming to a Close

With the tax penalty larger than it has ever been, now is the time to sign up for health coverage if you are not covered. The “shared responsibility” penalty for going without coverage in 2016 is $695 per person and $347.50 per child, or 2.5% of household income – whichever is higher. The open enrollment deadline By Amy Morrow | January 14, 2016 | Blog, insurance, Uncategorized Read More

2016 ACA Compliance Checklist

This is the year that the rubber really hits the road for employers with 50 or more full-time workers. The Affordable Care Act employer mandate for organizations with 50 to 99 employees takes effect this year, meaning that if you haven’t been offering your staff coverage before, you are now required to do so. There By Cerrina Jensen | January 12, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

Top 10 Laws, Regulations Affecting You in 2016 (Part 2)

This is part 2 of our blog on new laws and regulations that can affect your business in 2016. Family leave expanded a little A school activities law has expanded the right of employees to take protected time off from work when searching for a school or childcare provider. The law, which applies to employers By Cerrina Jensen | January 7, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

Top 10 Laws and Regulations Affecting Business in 2016 (Part 1)

AS WITH every New Year, businesses are faced with a slew of new laws and regulations. We’ve condensed them into a list of the top 10 most likely to affect your operations. 1. New teeth to gender equal pay laws A new state law adds teeth to the laws on gender pay equality. Before SB By Cerrina Jensen | January 5, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

IRS extends ACA reporting deadline for employers

The IRS has extended the deadline for reporting health plan information for 2015 under the Affordable Care Act. Starting this year, applicable large employers (those with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees) must report whether an individual is covered by minimum essential coverage and that an offer of minimum essential coverage that provides By Cerrina Jensen | January 2, 2016 | Blog, insurance Read More

ACA Auto-enroll Requirement Repealed

The Affordable Care Act requirement that large employers automatically enroll in a group health plan any employees that don’t respond when asked to choose a plan, has been repealed The change came after the employer community had lobbied to have the provision repealed because of the lack of clarity in the law, particularly about how By Cerrina Jensen | December 30, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

‘Cadillac Tax’ Delay Gives Employers Relief

Employers and their staff will get some relief for another few years from the impending “Cadillac” health insurance tax after Congress approved a delay as part of the budget deal it approved. President Obama has said he will not veto the new budget, which means that the excise tax will not take effect until 2020, By Cerrina Jensen | December 23, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Workers’ Comp Medical Costs Fall in Wake of Reforms

The workers’ comp reforms in 2013 have generated surprising cost savings in treating injured workers in California, with overall medical costs per claim falling 8% over a three-year period. That’s in contrast to the years of inflation before the reforms, when the average medical costs per claim were increasing by an average of 6.5% a By Cerrina Jensen | December 18, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Sprinkler Damage from a Quake Can Prove a Costly Business: Protect Your Assets

While you might expect cracks to the foundation of your business building during an earthquake, that is not the most common damage resulting from temblors in California. More typically, businesses may suffer property damage after a quake shakes a building enough to activate or damage indoor sprinklers, which in turn spray water, wreaking havoc on By Cerrina Jensen | December 16, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Run FMLA Concurrently with Workers’ Comp for Long-term Absences

Employers that run federal Family and Medical Leave Act benefits at the same time as workers’ comp benefits give themselves more leeway when employees are off work for workplace injuries for an extended period of time, a state supreme court has ruled. In the case of Kings Aire Inc. vs. Jorge Melendez, the Texas Supreme By Cerrina Jensen | December 11, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Preventing Warehouse and Factory Fires

One of the biggest risks to warehouses and production facilities is fires, which can spread rapidly in these environments. Facilities that are most at risk are those that have high ceilings, large footprints and hold large quantities of inventory that is stored close together. Once a fire starts in that kind of setting, it’s difficult By Cerrina Jensen | December 9, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Start Educating Your Workers on Affordable Care Act Tax Forms

While we’ve told you about the various forms you may be required to submit as part of your responsibilities under the Affordable Care Act, your employees may not be aware of what’s coming. Chances are, they’ll likely be confused by the new form 1095-C, which all applicable large employers must provide to them along with By Cerrina Jensen | December 4, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Why Slips, Trips and Falls Are So Hard to Avoid

Slips, trips and falls constitute the majority of general industry accidents, cause 15% of all accidental deaths, and are second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities. With those stark realities, any employer that fails to guard against these preventable accidents is asking for an injury to occur. And despite all of American By Cerrina Jensen | December 2, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Bill Would Allow FSA Funds to Be Moved to 401(k) Plans

A bill has been introduced in Congress that would allow holders of flexible spending accounts to transfer unused amounts of up to $250 a year into their 401(k) plans. Under current law since 2013, employers can allow FSA-participating staff to carry over up to $500 in unused funds to their FSA the next year. Another By Cerrina Jensen | November 27, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

How to Reduce Your Liability during Company Holiday Party

If you’re throwing your staff a Christmas party this year, don’t forget that holiday soirees also mean increased liability for workers’ comp, harassment and third-party injuries. For example, did you know that if one of your staff is injured at your holiday party it could trigger a workers’ comp claim, since it could be considered By Cerrina Jensen | November 25, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Think like a risk manager to reduce your insurance costs

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 By Cerrina Jensen | November 20, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Flexible Benefit Plans Give Employees More Options

One way you can give your staff more choice in the employee benefits they receive is to offer them a flexible benefit plan. Flexible benefit plans allow your workers to choose from an array of benefits that they can pay for with pre-tax dollars, including health insurance, retirement benefits such as 401(k) plans and reimbursement By Cerrina Jensen | November 18, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

New Legislation Aims to Cut Workers’ Comp Drug Costs

Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign recently passed legislation that could further reduce workers’ comp claims costs in California. The Legislature in September passed AB 1124, which would establish a new drug formulary that would limit the types of medications that can be used to treat injured workers. The law is seen as vital By Cerrina Jensen | November 13, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Remind Your Employees to Get Their Flu Shots

As we enter December, the one thing that can put a damper on this festive time of year is the seasonal flu. This year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is urging everyone aged six months and older to get their yearly flu shot. It is the best way to protect against the flu By Cerrina Jensen | November 10, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Hands-free Technology a Significant Danger: Study

If you think your employees who drive while on the job are completely safe using hands-free mobile phone technology while driving your car, a new study says otherwise. Mental distractions can persist for nearly 30 seconds after dialing, changing music or sending a text using voice commands, according to new research by the AAA Foundation By Cerrina Jensen | November 6, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Report All Workplace Injuries Promptly, Including First Aid

If one of your staff suffers an injury at work, it’s your duty to report that injury to your workers’ comp carrier. Many employers think they can skip making a report if someone is hurt at work yet doesn’t need to go see a doctor immediately. But the problem is that even what seems like a By Cerrina Jensen | November 3, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Record Rain Forecast from El Nino; Is Your Business Covered?

With forecasters predicting significant rainfall thanks to the El Nino weather phenomenon, you could be putting your business at risk if you are not properly insured. The average commercial flood claim is $89,000, according to the National Flood Insurance Program. And 25% of businesses that shut down after events such as floods never reopen. You By Cerrina Jensen | October 30, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Five Ideas for Boosting 401(k) Enrollment

While some employees understand the need to set aside money for retirement, many – especially your younger workers – likely do not. That mindset can perhaps be chalked up to inexperience and immaturity, or that they think they cannot spare the funds. But you as an employer can help generate more interest in retirement savings By Cerrina Jensen | October 27, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

As DOJ Sets Sights on Executives, Your Firm Needs Protection

The Department of Justice is stepping up its efforts to prosecute individual company executives, which could see more directors and officers facing jail time and individual financial penalties. The department issued a memo (obtained by the New York Times) to its prosecutors outlining best practices and recommending that allegedly responsible individuals should be the focus By Cerrina Jensen | October 23, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Study Finds Almost All Businesses Hit by Cyber Attacks

A new study has found that the majority of American businesses were victims of cyber attacks in the past year, greatly increasing the security stakes for companies of all sizes. Risk managers are aware of the increasing threat of cyber attack, but despite that, a majority of them said that they are not doing enough By Cerrina Jensen | October 20, 2015 | Blog, insurance, Newsletter Read More

Drug Testing in Workers’ Comp Skyrockets

Drug testing of injured workers by treating doctors has skyrocketed over the past seven years as painkiller abuse continues and physicians want to monitor their patients for staying with their prescribed drug regimen. The use of urine drug testing on injured workers in California increased 2,431% between 2007 and 2014, according to the California Workers’ By Cerrina Jensen | October 16, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Seven Ways to Protect Trade Secrets When Employees Go to a Competitor

Any employer that loses a worker to a competitor is right to be concerned about its trade secrets being leaked or losing customers who may be loyal to that employee. When an employee leaves you to go work for a competitor, it’s likely that they’ve been planning the move for weeks, if not months. During By Cerrina Jensen | October 13, 2015 | Blog, insurance, Newsletter Read More

Business Umbrella, Excess Liability Insurance Essential as Costs Rise

As a responsible business owner you no doubt make sure that you are properly insured for any liabilities resulting from damage to other parties. Imagine some of the following scenarios: • What if a visitor trips and falls at your business, breaking a leg and is unable to work for a few months while they By Cerrina Jensen | October 9, 2015 | Blog, insurance, Newsletter Read More

Federal Agencies Stepping up Audits. Here’s What They Are Looking at

As the Affordable Care Act takes hold further, government agencies are stepping up their audits of health plans across the country. With many employers still unclear over exactly what they need to do to fully comply with all of the sections of the ACA – from providing affordable insurance to reporting on their plans – By Cerrina Jensen | October 6, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Beware of ‘Cadillac Tax’ Complexities

With new studies showing that more than one-third of all health plans will likely be subject to the impending “Cadillac” excise tax when it takes effect in 2018, more employers are getting concerned that their employees will be hit by this measure. The Internal Revenue Service will tax plans that exceed certain cost thresholds, beginning By Cerrina Jensen | October 2, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Focus on Eye Safety

Thousands of people are blinded each year from work-related eye injuries that could have been prevented with the proper selection and use of eye and face protection. Eye injuries alone cost more than $300 million per year in lost production time, medical expenses and worker compensation. OSHA requires employers to ensure the safety of all By Cerrina Jensen | September 30, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Mobile Threat Booms: Revisit Your BYOD Policies

With the amount of new malware that targets mobile devices growing exponentially, if you have not set down rules for employees who use their own smart phones for company business, you should do so now. Network security firm PandaLabs has reported that in the second quarter of 2015, it saw an average of 230,000 new By Cerrina Jensen | September 25, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

New System to Reduce Effects of a Single Claim on Small Employers’ Premium

New rules approved by the state insurance commissioner, Dave Jones, will reduce the effects of a single claim on small and mid-sized employers’ workers’ comp premiums, addressing an issue that has long haunted many California companies. The changes approved for the Experience Rating Plan will introduce a new formula for gauging an employer’s expected and By Cerrina Jensen | September 22, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Don’t Get Caught without a Business Succession Plan

Many business owners may be good at running their companies, but the majority of them 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 if they die or become disabled, according to the “2015 By Cerrina Jensen | September 17, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Allowing Flexible Spending Account Carryover Can Boost Participation

Since the regulations were introduced in October 2013 authorizing employers to allow their employees to carry over up to $500 in unused funds in their flexible spending accounts, many businesses that have done so have seen a rise in participation. According to a new survey of human resources specialists by the Employers Council on Flexible By Cerrina Jensen | September 15, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Preparing Your Commercial Building for El Nino

Forecasters are predicting one of the most intense El Nino weather patterns for this upcoming winter, and heavy rains are expected in large swaths of the West Coast. The roof is your commercial building’s first line of defense from the elements, including heavy rain and extreme heat. It is also the most vulnerable part of By Cerrina Jensen | September 10, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Small Group Grandmothered Plans to Disappear

As I write this, I’m reminded of the holiday tune, “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer”. Obviously the songwriter had no idea how fitting it would be this particular December as Grandmothered Medical Plans expire in California, but it does seem like an appropriate theme song. To be sure, this will be a renewal By Cerrina Jensen | September 9, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

ACA Spurs Benefits Rethink among Employers

Expected cost increases stemming from the Affordable Care Act are spurring employers to consider new approaches to benefits funding and administration. The increasingly complex benefits environment is also making employers rethink their benefits strategies, which may allow them to take advantage of new opportunities for benefits communication, funding and administration, according to the “Guardian Workplace By Cerrina Jensen | September 4, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Five Tips for a Successful Open Enrollment

In light of today’s diverse and continuously evolving workforce, it’s more critical than ever that you have a targeted strategy for your open enrollment. You should not just consider open enrollment as the period that your staff chooses benefits. The way you execute and your success in boosting participation can help attract, engage and retain By Cerrina Jensen | September 2, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

How to Avoid Inheriting an Old Workers’ Comp Claim

One of the biggest shocks for an employer is to find out that a workplace incident aggravated a pre-existing injury that was sustained at one of the worker’s prior employers. Some people are serial workers’ comp claimants who may or may not be involved in filing fraudulent claims or malingering (stretching an injury claim out By Cerrina Jensen | August 28, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Protecting Your Business from Wildfire

As wildfires rage in California and elsewhere in tinder-dry areas of the US, now more than ever you need to make sure that your business is protected from the threat. Whether you own or operate an apartment complex, convenience store, office, motel, restaurant or other retail establishment, the steps you take now will reduce the By Cerrina Jensen | August 25, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

How to Avoid Being Sued for ADA Violations

During the last eight years since the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) was enacted, the landscape for employers has changed dramatically. The odds of being sued have increased significantly and the onus is now on employers to engage in an interactive process with an employee who claims to be disabled or one that By Cerrina Jensen | August 21, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Bureau Recommends 12.2% Rate Cut for 2016

California’s workers’ compensation statistical agency will recommend that benchmark rates be reduced by an average of 12.2% for policies incepting at the start of next year. The rate filing is actually for a 0.8% reduction, but that comes after benchmark rates were cut 10.2% on July 1, so that’s why the average rate reduction for By Cerrina Jensen | August 18, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Consumer-driven Health Plans Confuse Enrollees

As more employers are moving their workers into consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs), a new study has found that many employees don’t understand how such plans and their moving parts work. The report found that there is widespread misunderstanding among enrollees in CDHPs about the health savings accounts (HSAs) or flexible spending accounts attached to those By Cerrina Jensen | August 13, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Many Small Businesses Can’t ID Workers’ Comp Fraud

Fraud eats away at workers’ comp costs for all businesses, but it hits small businesses the hardest as they may not have the resources to identify bogus claims. According to a new study by workers’ comp insurer Employers Holdings Inc., about 20% of small-business owners are not sufficiently prepared to identify workers’ compensation fraud. It’s By Cerrina Jensen | August 11, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Telecommuting Not Required for ADA ‘Accommodation’

A federal appeals court recently ruled that telecommuting is a reasonable accommodation for disabled workers, but employers do not have to honor such requests if they have business or strategic reasons for not permitting such arrangements. The April 2015 decision by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in the EEOC v. Ford Motor Co. By Cerrina Jensen | August 7, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Want to Reimburse Your Staff for Health Premiums? A $36,500 per-employee Fine Lurks

By now, most business owners know about the yearly $2,000 per-employee fine they would face for not securing health coverage for their employees under the Affordable Care Act. But there is even a larger fine that threatens under recent regulations issued by the IRS – and it’s not for failing to secure coverage. It’s for By Cerrina Jensen | August 5, 2015 | Blog, insurance Read More

Address Risks of Cloud Storage before Making Switch

As cloud data storage becomes more ubiquitous, you may be considering migrating many of your company’s storage functions to a cloud service. Going with cloud storage can save you money in terms of data storage and hardware, but there are also issues you need to consider, particularly: • Accessibility • Dealing with data loss and By Cerrina Jensen | July 31, 2015 | Blog, insurance, Newsletter Read More

Employees Responsible for 85% of Trade Secret Theft

Trade secret theft by employees is a serious and growing problem in the U.S. According to an analysis of federal court cases, 85% of such theft is committed by employees or business partners. And while that’s disturbing enough, there’s been a significant escalation in the number of trade secret thefts over the years: cases doubled By Cerrina Jensen | July 28, 2015 | Blog, insurance, Newsletter Read More

EEOC Opens up New Discrimination Class: Sexual Orientation

In a step that creates a new protected class, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled that discrimination based on sexual orientation is illegal under federal law. The ruling is significant since it essentially sets the stage for employers being susceptible to a new class of lawsuits, opening up an additional area of liability. While By Cerrina Jensen | July 24, 2015 | Blog, insurance, Newsletter Read More

Changes to California’s New Paid Sick Leave Law

Less than two weeks after it took effect, California’s paid sick leave law has been changed with important amendments that affect most employers in the state. The new changes took effect immediately upon Gov. Jerry Brown signing the fixer legislation to last year’s Healthy Families Act of 2014. The new law gives employers some new By Cerrina Jensen | July 21, 2015 | Blog, insurance, Newsletter Read More

Independent Contractor Classification Clarified amid Crackdown

On July 15, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued an administrator’s interpretation regarding the application of the Fair Labor Standards Act with respect to the misclassification of workers as independent contractors. The new interpretation is required reading for any business that uses independent contractors to any degree – often or seldom. It’s also important By Cerrina Jensen | July 17, 2015 | Blog, insurance, Newsletter Read More