COVID-19 Drives Surge in Employment Practices Claims

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Employers are being hit with a wave of COVID-19-related employment lawsuits, which is starting to have an effect on employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) rates and coverages. A tally by the law firm of Fisher Phillips found that as of August 2021 there had been 2,950 COVID-19-related employment lawsuits filed in the U.S. Most of the complaints concern remote work arrangements, workplace safety and discrimination. Lawyers predict a new wave building as employers get pushback from some employees about their vaccine policies and continuing safety measures. The most common COVID-19-related complaints are: Remote work and leave issues (28% of total)…
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Accident Insurance Can Save Your Workers from Ruin

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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 costs 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 expenses not covered by insurance, Transportation to and from…
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Disaster Recovery Checklist for Business Owners and Executives

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If a natural disaster were to strike, would your company be ready? Has your management team hardened the business to continue operating in case of a disaster? With natural catastrophes growing in number and severity, businesses more than ever need to have in place plans for a quick recovery for the sake of their investors, customers, employees and vendors. Here are some basic tips to ensure the survival of a small business in the event of a disaster: Create a written disaster preparation and recovery plan. This document should be in hard copy in your office and e-mailed to all…
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Few Plan Enrollees Seem Aware of Price Transparency Rules

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Despite a new law requiring hospitals to post detailed pricing information for their treatments and procedures online, fewer than 10% of U.S. adults are aware of the requirement. That’s a problem considering that a growing number of Americans have high-deductible health plans, which come with up-front lower premiums but with higher out-of-pocket expenses. One of the driving forces behind HDHPs is that they give the enrollee more “skin in the game,” by incentivizing them to shop around for care since they will have to pay for it themselves up to their deductible. But if people are not aware they can…
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Trump Issues Executive Orders to Reduce Drug Costs

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President Trump has issued executive orders aimed at reducing the cost of medications by tying Medicare payment for outpatient drugs to international prices, passing drug-maker rebates to patients and not middlemen, and allowing individuals to import prescription medications. Another executive order aims to force community health centers that receive $340B drug discounts to pass discounts for insulin and injectable epinephrine on to patients. Executive Orders to Reduce Drug Costs Drug importation The Executive Order on Increasing Drug Importation to Lower Prices for American Patients calls for new regulations that would: Allow individual state health plans to import certain drugs. Authorize the reimportation…
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Coverage Gap Concerns as Cyber Threat Grows

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Small and mid-sized businesses are increasingly bearing the burden of cyber threats, as criminals consider them low-hanging fruits that often do not have the resources in place to mount a strong defense. Having a solid cyber insurance policy in place is key, along with understanding what exactly your policy covers. A severe attack on a small company can incapacitate its ability to do business, and the expenses of getting operations back on track ― coupled with loss of goodwill ― can easily force many firms into bankruptcy. That’s why it’s important to not only have safeguards in place to avoid…
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CLIENT OF THE MONTH: Three-generation Trucking Firm, a True Family Business

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Gordie Archer grew up in the family business, learning to drive, repair and spray water from water trucks, getting his commercial drivers license at just 16. He is walking in the footsteps of his father Red Archer, working for his father alongside his brother Jeff in the 1970s. Both of them got their commercial driver’s licenses at 16 and would later inherit the business from their father, F.B. (Red) Archer Jr. Eventually, Gordie and Jeff split the company in two, with Jeff and his wife Shellie keeping the highway truck operation in Ukiah, while Gordie and his wife Janice set…
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Protect Your Business against Supply Chain Disruption

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Hurricane Irma highlighted how fragile America’s supply and logistical chains can be. Thanks to a variety of technologies like RFID tracking and just-in-time supply chain management, U.S. businesses are running leaner than ever. And sometimes, all it takes is a bump in the road to show us just how lean, and how easy it is for events beyond anyone’s control to wreak havoc with a business’s ability to function. When Hurricane Irma walked up the Florida peninsula, tens of millions of Floridians flocked to stores to stock up on bottled water, batteries, ice and other supplies, expecting to be out…
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Sexual Harassment Lawsuits: How to Protect Your Company

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By now, employers should all realize and understand that sexual harassment is illegal. However, what they might not be aware of are two 20-year-old rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court that: • Expanded what is termed sexual harassment; • Expanded the responsibility that employers have to provide a work environment that’s non-hostile; and • Did away with harassed employees having to prove that their company holds some responsibility or that their career suffered from lack of promotion, firing, demotion, or other such action. Employers are now directly responsible for employee behavior, thereby giving harassed workers more recourse in bringing about…
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Republicans Consider Fixing ACA, Not Repealing It

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The steamroller everyone expected from President Trump and the GOP-led Congress to flatten the Affordable Care Act has been put on idle and what was a promised quick outright repeal has morphed into a plan to “repair” the law. In particular, Republican lawmakers, huddling while trying to devise a repeal-and-replace plan, have instead found that it won’t be so easy, unless they want to cut off millions of people from the health insurance they have purchased on exchanges. They are most concerned with the political fallout should that happen, not to mention the fact that a repeal would also do…
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