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Bulletin Item: President Bush Signs Pension Funding Equity Act (HR 3108)

The new law provides a short-term replacement for the current 30-year Treasury bond rate, which is currently used as the benchmark rate for pension funding liabilities. Some employers, unions, and workers expressed concerns about using the Treasury bond rate because it artificially inflates a plan’s funding liabilities. Congress enacted a temporary fix in March 2002 […]

News Notes: Bush Issues New Executive Order Furthering Faith-Based Initiative

President Bush has issued a new Executive order exempting religious organizations that contract with the U.S. government from prohibitions on religious discrimination in hiring. The order, part of his “faith-based initiative,” applies to religious corporations, associations, educational institutions, and societies. It does not, however, release religious groups from complying with other state and local anti-bias […]

Workers’ Compensation: Insurance Commissioner Recommends Further Rate Reductions

Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi has announced he will recommend a 16.4 percent decrease in the workers’ compensation pure premium rate for policies starting on or after July 1, 2006. This recommendation is the latest in a string of recommended rate reductions since July 2003, when workers’ comp reforms went into effect. The cumulative recommended reductions […]

News Flash: Workers’ Compensation Insurers Face Mounting Losses; Employers May Be Hit With Higher Premiums

Some California workers’ comp insurers have been placed on a financial watch list by the California Department of Insurance because rating agencies have raised questions about the insurers’ financial stability. According to the California Workers’ Compensation Institute, for each $1 in premiums taken in during 1999, workers’ comp insurers paid out about $1.51 for claims […]

Bulletin Item: Workers’ Compensation Reform Developments Continue

The Assembly Insurance Committee was recently scheduled to vote on the controversial reform measure (ABX4 1) proposed by Gov. Schwarzenegger just after he took office in November. However, the committee postponed the vote, which likely would have resulted in the bill’s defeat. The governor and legislators have now entered into talks to reach a compromise […]

Accommodating Disabilities: Extra Effort To Accommodate Worker Wins Case For Employer

Lucky Stores faced a typical problem. An employee who was injured on the job wanted to return to work even though his doctors had imposed restrictions on his duties. The supermarket carefully considered the employee’s work limitations, extended his disability leave more than once and eventually offered him a part-time job he was qualified to […]

Computers: Ninth Circuit Reconsiders Computer Privacy Ruling; the Importance of Having a Monitoring Policy

Last year, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers California, ruled that employees cannot expect privacy when using workplace computers if their employer has an electronic monitoring policy in place. But now, the Ninth Circuit has revisited that ruling—this time finding that the employee indeed had an expectation of privacy for the computer […]

News Notes: Latest Developments In Stock Option Controversy

In the February issue of CEA, we reported on a controversial U.S. Department of Labor advisory opinion that said you might have to include stock option profits in an hourly worker’s base pay and retroactively recalculate overtime figured on the new pay rate. The ruling has come under fire not just from employers, but also […]