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Insurance Commissioner Urges Insurers to Do More to Cut Comp Rates

California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi has announced that workers’ compensation insurers in the state have filed rate reductions averaging 14.6 percent for policies incepting on or after July 1, 2005. These latest cuts bring the cumulative rate reduction to 26.78 percent since the massive workers’ compensation reforms of 2003 and 2004.

E-Alert Item: Workers’ Compensation: Ratings Bureau Says Industry Is Severely Under-Reserved

Over the past year, many employers have seen a huge jump in their workers’ comp premiums—and even bigger hikes may be on the way. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau has just reported that the California workers’ compensation insurance industry is under-reserved by a startling $13.7 billion. The WCIRB attributes the deficit to, among other […]

News Notes: No Comp Benefits for New Employee’s Psychiatric Injury

  A California appeal court has ruled an employee couldn’t recover workers’ comp benefits for psychiatric injury stemming from a work-related physical injury because the individual hadn’t worked for the employer for at least six months when initially injured. The court based its decision on a provision of the workers’ comp law that bars benefits […]

Definitions of ‘Fiduciary’ Will Soon be More ‘Economical’

Employers and plan administrators can have a better understanding of what a fiduciary is, courtesy of Phyllis C. Borzi, Department of Labor (DOL) assistant secretary for the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). She shed some light on the department’s thought process on this matter at the March 13 ERISA Advisory Council meeting. The DOL’s efforts […]

Ergonomics: Congress Scraps OSHA Ergonomics Rule

After 10 years of debate, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a national ergonomics standard that covered 102 million workers and took effect in January. But the much-criticized rule—which some said would cost businesses more than $100 billion per year—has now been scrapped by Congress, within weeks of President Bush’s taking office. And the […]

News Notes: Employment Cases On Supreme Court Docket

The U.S. Supreme Court will take up several workplace-related cases this year. In one, the court will review a Ninth Circuit ruling regarding the type of evidence a terminated employee can use to prove job discrimination when an employer has both legitimate and illegal reasons for the discharge. Other cases on the court’s docket involve […]

Annual BLR Survey Results: How Big Will Raises Be in 2008?

BLR’s exclusive survey says that once again, the byword will be “no more than four.” And if you want more detail, we’ve got that, too. Fall is traditionally when organizations plan next year’s budget. A key component—in many cases, the key component—is how small or large a wage increase to plan for your people. One […]

News Flash: Employer’s Denial Of COBRA Benefits Leaves Court With Bad Taste

A federal court in Delaware has ruled that Hanover Foodsviolated federal law by refusing to offer COBRA benefits to a worker who was fired for leaving onion powder out of a batch of ravioli. The company claimed that Heather Lloynd tried to sabotage the ravioli because she was assigned to work with an employee she […]

News Notes: Changes In Per Diem Travel Expense Rates Effective Now

The revised federal per diem rates for travel expense reimbursement became effective Oct. 1. Between now and Dec. 31, you can choose to use either the old or the new rate, although you have to be consistent for the entire period. The new rates must be used as of Jan. 1, 2001. In the future, […]