Limiting Your Liability During the Company Holiday Party

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

With the fallout from the #MeToo movement forcing employers to change their internal conduct policies, they are also reassessing the office holiday party. While gatherings can be a good time for your staff to mingle casually with their colleagues and clients, they can also prove to be a liability for businesses – particularly if you serve alcohol. Not all companies are canceling holiday parties, though. Some are being a little more careful and limiting or eliminating alcohol served at holiday celebrations. If you are throwing a holiday party, you should take steps to limit risks and make sure you are…
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Protect Yourself against Liability Exposure from Contractors’ Employees

| posted in Blog

As a business owner, you could be held liable for the actions of other peoples’ employees. U.S. employment law has long recognized that workers may have an employment relationship with multiple entities at the same time. That means your company could get stung with OSHA fines, Title VII discrimination claims and other actions that arise from the actions of an employee that you thought was a subcontractor. Here’s why: In Secretary of Labor vs. Summit Contractors, the 8th Circuit ruled that companies that exercise overall control of a job site can be held liable for workplace infractions – even when…
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Five Ways to Reduce Accidents among Your Driving Employees

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

We’ve often discussed the scourge of distracted driving in America, brought on in large part due to the use of smartphones and leading to a significant spike in vehicle accidents, injuries and deaths. That in turn has led to a jump in both commercial and personal auto insurance pricing. The risk for businesses is even greater as a careless driving employee can result in a substantial liability claim, particularly if a third party is injured. If one of your drivers is found to have been engaged in distracted driving, any judgment or settlement for a personal injury could easily cost…
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After the Grenfell Tower Fire: What Building Owners Can Do to Improve Fire Safety

| posted in Blog

A massive London apartment fire that killed at least 80 people last June is causing landlords to reassess fire risk and potential liability. Officials trace the likely genesis of the Grenfell Tower fire to a faulty refrigerator. But the use of Reynobond PE, an exterior building cladding made by Pittsburgh-based Arconic, Inc., may have contributed to the rapid spread of the fire from floor to floor around the building’s exterior. The cladding consists of thin sheets of aluminum on either side of a core of polyethylene, a flammable plastic. Despite being illegal for use on high-rise projects in the United…
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Why Your Business Needs an Umbrella Liability Policy

| posted in Blog

If you own a business or commercial property, consider how easily you could absorb events like these: • You own an apartment building with a porch that does not have railings. One of your tenants falls from it, and recovery from her injuries requires months of physical rehabilitation. A court awards her $3 million. • The poorly maintained brakes on an asphalt truck fail. The truck strikes the back of the car in front of it, causing a woman riding in the car to suffer serious hand injuries. The truck’s owner settles with her for $1.5 million. • A man…
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Is Your Firm Protected for Libel and Slander under Your Business Policy?

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What would you do if your business got SLAPPed? SLAPP stands for “strategic lawsuit against public participation.” A business that gets SLAPPed has been sued for speaking out against or about a person or entity. In these actions, the plaintiff accuses a person or business of harming them by speaking out publicly with malicious intent. For example, small businesses in a village may protest plans to build a huge shopping mall nearby and in the process spread a false rumor about the developers. The owners of the proposed mall might sue them for alleged defamation – libel (written statements) or…
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Five Tips for Streamlining Your Insurance Policy Audit

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Are you due for a workers’ compensation premium audit? Audits are how insurance rates are determined, and it’s possible that an audit will uncover information that can actually save you money. Additionally, audits are important to make sure that your employee counts and job descriptions haven’t changed, so that the premium can accurately reflect your current operations. The audit can be stressful, but the key is preparation. These five tips can help you get ready: Tell your broker when there are changes in your staffing, payroll or areas of operation – This is important not just at audit time, but…
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What Keeps Business Owners up at Night?

| posted in Newsletter

Business owners have a lot of risks on their minds these days. Complying with regulations, holding on to their best workers, the constant threat of computer hackers, increasingly unpredictable weather – all of these have businesses worried. According to the “2016 Travelers Risk Index” from the Travelers Companies, fewer business leaders saw the world as riskier than they did the year before. However, they expressed concern about the following factors: Medical/employee benefit cost inflation. The rising cost of medical care is the top concern for all businesses. This worry is rational: Government data shows that medical costs rose by nearly…
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Your Liability Every Time Someone Enters Your Facility

| posted in Blog

One sure-fire way for a business to get sued is if a visitor – a customer, vendor or anyone else – injures themselves while on your premises. While you may already do all you can to keep employees and customers safe, you are likely still exposed to being sued if someone injures themselves in one of your facilities. Alhough the most common situation that comes to mind is the slip and fall accident, your liability for injuries sustained on your property extends far beyond such injuries. What you need to know It doesn’t matter if you own your building or…
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Employee Texting Blows Holes in Your Company Communications Policy

| posted in Blog

If you are not aware, your employees are most likely communicating with each other and clients using texting or instant messaging. While the immediacy of texting and instant messaging is great for business as it allows faster communications, better collaboration and more responsiveness, the downside is that your organization likely can’t track and retrieve those communications. It becomes even harder if the communications are via instant messaging apps like Whatsapp! and Facebook’s Messenger. As an employer, it’s important that you understand the issue and that you have clear rules for communications among employees in order to protect your company’s interests….
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