COVID-19 Drives Surge in Employment Practices Claims

| posted in Uncategorized

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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Play It Safe with a Vehicle Fleet Safety Program

| posted in Newsletter

A work-related vehicle accident will cost an employer an average of at least $16,500, according to OSHA. If injuries are involved, that figure can quadruple. If there’s a fatality, you could be looking at costs exceeding half a million dollars. Not to mention the suffering and broken lives that kind of event leaves in its wake. To ensure your employees are safe at all times, and are also protecting the public, you need to have in place: A proper maintenance program for company vehicles, and A safe driving program. Your employees play a key role in the success of both programs….
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Employment-Related Lawsuits Explode during Pandemic

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow, so does the number of employment-related lawsuits filed by workers across the country against their employers. The pandemic laid the groundwork for new local, state and federal laws and regulations governing a number of workplace issues like workplace safety, family and medical leave and remote work. And it created new challenges for employers who were forced to close operations, lay off and furlough workers and organize new work arrangements. Most common employment-related lawsuits The surge resulted in a record number of COVID-19-related class-action lawsuits, the majority of them concerning disputes over:…
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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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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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Protect Your Business from Being Hacked by Employees

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

While hacking by outsiders is posing a larger and more significant threat to companies of all sizes, the threat of insider jobs – particularly being hacked by employees or disgruntled former employees – is often a bigger one. These attacks, carried out with malicious intent to hamstring a company’s operations, can cause serious problems. Recent Examples A former employee of Spellman High Voltage Electronics Corp. is facing charges after employees began reporting that they were unable to process routine transactions and were receiving error messages after he resigned, due to allegedly being passed over for a promotion.The mayhem cost his…
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Serious Injury Reporting to Cal/OSHA

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Failure to report or reporting of a serious workplace injury or illness or death can land an employer a civil penalty of not less than $5,000 under the California Labor Code. If you have employees, you need to understand the procedures for reporting these incidents and what you need to report. What Is A Serious Injury? Cal/OSHA defines an employee’s serious injury or illness as: One that requires inpatient hospitalization for a period in excess of 24 hours for other than medical observation. A loss of a body part. A serious, permanent disfigurement. When Must I Report A Serious Injury?…
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Lockout/Tagout Training Essential in Any Shop with Equipment

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Every year, hundreds of workers in the United States die because they don’t follow lockout/tagout procedures or their employers did not have them in place – or, if they did, failed to enforce their rules. Failure to train or inadequate training is one of the top-cited lockout/tagout violations by Cal/OSHA. Improper training or failing to train all of your workers can have dire consequences, even for staff that are trained in procedures. In this past year in California, two workers died because of inadequate training. One died on the job at a nut cannery because he had missed lockout/tagout training when…
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Employee Behavior, Habits Can Thwart Heat Illness Prevention

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Every summer thousands of American workers suffer from heat illness after working in hot conditions and not taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves. Often employers have not put in place safeguards and have failed to train their workers in heat illness prevention. But even the most well-intentioned employers need to take extra precautions to ensure their employees’ safety. The biggest challenge in implementing a heat illness prevention program is cutting through misconceptions about heat illness and workers not understanding how to identify the initial signs of such illness. You also have to make sure that your supervisors are all…
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Cost Containment Biggest Workers’ Comp Concern

| posted in Blog

Cost containment will be the chief workers’ comp insurance concern for U.S. employers over the next 12 months, according to a survey. Zywave, an insurance software company, found that among the 3,500 companies polled, 59% were “very or somewhat concerned” about cost containment this year. Despite the results, there are a number of ways that employers can control those costs, including establishing a solid safety program and helping injured employees return to work. The survey results included the following: Respondents said the most effective workers’ comp cost control method was a safety-minded culture (65%). Although 59% said that a light-duty…
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