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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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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Stay on Top of These New Laws, Rules in 2022

| posted in Newsletter

Every year starts with a flurry of new laws and regulations that California employers have to contend with. And 2022 is no different as the California legislature had a busy year and the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in more activity. The end result is another round of new laws that employers need to stay on top of so they don’t run afoul of them. With no further ado, here are the top regulations and laws affecting California businesses.   Big change to Cal/OSHA citations A new law adds two new Cal/OSHA violation categories that carry penalties of up…
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COVID-19 Workers’ Comp Claims Level Off

| posted in Newsletter

THE NUMBER of COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims in California continues to hold steady as we near the end of the year and the numbers pale in comparison to how many claims were being filed in December 2020, according to new data. To date, there have been 170,387 claims filed through the end of November, according to the California Workers’ Compensation Institute. Additionally, there have been 1,217 workers’ compensation death claims. Here’s where we stand in a month-by-month comparison from May of this year until the end of the year in terms of number of COVID-19 claims by month of injury…
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Workers’ Comp COVID-19 Payroll Reporting Rules Sunsetting

| posted in Newsletter

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau has announced that two temporary payroll reporting rules to reflect changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home orders will sunset. The move comes after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s June 9 executive order which revoked the statewide stay-at-home order that had been in place since March 19, 2020. You may recall that after the stay-at-home order took effect, the Rating Bureau issued new rules for classifying staff who were suddenly working remotely, as well as payroll reporting for staff who were at home but not working. The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) rules that are set…
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Workers’ Comp COVID-19 Payroll Reporting Rules Sunsetting

| posted in Blog

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau has announced that two temporary payroll reporting rules to reflect changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home orders will sunset. The move comes after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s June 9 executive order which revoked the statewide stay-at-home order that had been in place since March 19, 2020. You may recall that after the stay-at-home order took effect, the Rating Bureau issued new rules for classifying staff who were suddenly working remotely, as well as payroll reporting for staff who were at home but not working. The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) rules that are set…
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California’s COVID-19 Tracking Requirement Challenges Employers

| posted in Blog

SB 1159, signed into law in September, requires that when a California employer “knows or reasonably should know” that an employee has tested positive for coronavirus, it must report that positive case to its workers’ compensation carrier within three business days along with other COVID-19 tracking requirements. There is a lot of ground to cover in these reports and the legislation was passed without much publicity, so many employers may not even know about their obligations. And that could cost them: the fine for non-compliance is $10,000 per incident. The law goes further than merely reporting a positive case: The…
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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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Raft of Bills Would Add New Coronavirus Measures

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

The California Legislature is working on a number of new measures to protect workers in the state during the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures take aim at “holes” in the system that may leave employees who contract the coronavirus on the job without workers’ compensation benefits, footing higher utility bills because of working at home and needing sick leave time available to them should they contract the disease. Gov. Gavin Newsom said he would work closely with legislators to help the measures become law. Below we look at the legislative moves that have gained the most traction and are supported by…
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COVID-19 Emergency Workers’ Compensation Rating Changes on Tap

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Emergency rules are being developed to guide workers’ compensation classification and claims for coronavirus-affected employers and their workers in California. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau is pursuing the temporary rules to ensure fairness for employers so that their workers’ comp rates and experience modifiers (X-Mods) are not adversely affected by COVID-19-related issues. The Rating Bureau’s Classification and Rating Committee, whose members include the top actuaries for a number of workers’ comp insurers in the state, will meet April 14 to discuss three important changes to the state rating plan, according to David Bellusci, senior vice president, chief operating officer,…
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