SB863 Changes Coming in January, California Employers Advised to Learn New Law

Senate Bill 863 Signed Into Law

 

Governor Jerry Brown of California signed into law on September 19, 2012 what was known as Senate Bill 863.  The new law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2013, makes major changes in the largest (and many people would argue the most complex) state workers’ compensation system.  Unfortunately, instead of simplifying the workers’ compensation law, it appears the changes in the law will make the California system even more complex.

 

 

Insurers Not Sure Will Realize Cost Savings

 

Governor Brown, who actively promoted the new law, claims the changes in the workers’ compensation system will reduce cost to employers by $1 billion dollars in the first year.  However, insurers overall are not so sure, with many of them considering the changes in the workers’ compensation law to be neutral in cost at best, and foresee higher claims cost if the theoretical savings forecasted by the authors of the law do not come about.

 

 

Changes and New Regulations

 

The new law is over 100 pages long and approximately 60,000 words.  There are approximately 50 statutory changes that go into effect on January 1, 2013.  Some of the areas of workers’ compensation that will be impacted with changes or new regulations/ requirements include:

 

  • Payment of permanent disability awards

 

  • Independent review process for medical treatment

 

  • Creation of an independent review process for medical billing disputes

 

  • Fees for current and future lien filings

 

  • Vouchers

 

  • Fee schedules for home health care, language interpretation and other workers’ compensation related services

 

  • Psychological/sleep/sexual claims

 

  • Self insurance

 

  • Carve outs

 

 

30% Increase in Permanent Disability Benefits

 

The reason many insurers do not foresee a cost benefit to the new law is due to the change in the payment of permanent disability benefits.  The new law will increase permanent disability benefits by 30%.  That is a given.  The estimated cost savings to be derived from the other changes are supposed to offset the increased level of permanent disability benefits plus save California employers an additional billion dollars per year.  The issue for insurers is the increase in permanent disability benefits is a definite cost increase while the cost savings from the other changes in the law are speculative at best.

 

The reason the cost savings are considered speculative is the new law leaves to the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) to draw up regulations on how to implement the new law.  As there is only 3 months before the law is scheduled to go into effect, the DIR which is required to get public in-put, will be pressed to establish all the necessary regulations in a timely manner.  There are insurers who are concerned that the new regulations from the DIR will not be employer friendly, and will not contain the proper level of balances and controls.

 

 

Short Time Before Law Goes Into Effect, Educate Yourself

 

The short time frame before the new law goes into effect also creates a substantial problem for employers, defense attorneys, medical providers, and claims adjusters in learning the new workers’ compensation requirements.  The law is complex and it will require a significant amount of retraining and/or rethinking by the people who on a daily basis have to deal with the workers’ compensation system.

 

If you are a California employer, we recommend you quickly take the necessary steps to educate yourself on the changes coming in California workers’ compensation.

 

 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Editor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Operation Underground Stings CA Contractors for Workers Comp Fraud

Contractors Under-reporting to Avoid Work Comp Insurance

 
California officials report dozens of workers have been hit with citations in a statewide sweep targeting contractors for allegedly under-reporting payrolls in order to avoid paying higher workers compensation insurance and taxes, according to state officials.
 
The Contractors State License Board, Department of Insurance and Employment Development Department (CSLB) jointly conducted “Operation Underground” last month to check for potential “off the books” activity by 133 contractors, resulting in 104 citations and stop orders, according to the CSLB.
 
A CSLB spokeswoman said it may take up to a year to complete investigations arising from the two-day sweep.
 
 
Misdemeanor or Felony Charges
 
Misdemeanor or felony charges could be filed, depending on the level of wrongdoing uncovered, she said, adding that, in the meantime, none of the contractors can be identified.
 
Contractors in 11 counties were cited during Operation Underground.
 
Participants in the state’s underground economy are harmful to everyone,” said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. “Anyone who neglects their responsibility to comply with state contracting, insurance, and payroll requirements drives up premiums. At the same time, legitimate licensed contractors struggle because illegal operators underbid them.”
 
 
Tips for Hiring Contractors
 
Officials reminded people planning to hire a contractor for residential or commercial work to keep the following in mind:
 
– any contracting job valued at more than $500 requires a license;
– unlicensed contractors can perform work that’s less than $500, but they must disclose that they’re not licensed in ads, according to state law;
– before anyone hires a contractor, they should verify the person’s license via the CSLB’s website, www.checkthelicensefirst.com;
– obtain at least three bids; and
– never pay more than 10 percent of the total estimated cost of a job, or $1,000, whichever is less.
 
 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

If You Can Not Get Workers Comp Coverage, Look to the State Fund

There is an alternative to commercial insurance companies or self-insurance for your workers compensation needs.  In about 20 states, including the three largest states, California, Texas and New York, there is a state sponsored insurance company that competes with the private insurance market for workers compensation policies and premiums.  They are often referred to as the State Fund.

 

 

In some of these states, the state government takes an active role in the operation of the state insurance companies and the insurance company is a quasi-governmental agency.  In other states, the state created and funded the insurance company, but no longer operates or manages it.  (WCxKit)

 

 

Each of these state operated insurance companies is domiciled in the state where they operate and they do not issue policies outside of the state boundaries.

 

 

The State Funds have come about because of the difficulty employers can have in securing workers compensation coverage, especially if they are in a high risk line of business.  Employers who have excellent safety programs are coveted by the commercial insurance companies.  The modification factor used to establish premiums reflects the lower than average loss experience of these companies.

 

 

The opposite holds true for companies who have higher than average loss histories.  The standard insurance companies are not interested in obtaining the business, resulting in it being difficult for those employers to obtain workers compensation insurance.

 

 

A poor loss history is not the only reason employers will end up in the State Fund.  The state legislators in every state are often tinkering with the workers compensation laws.  Changes in the laws such as increases in the maximum weekly indemnity benefit rate, or the number of weeks an employee can collect benefits, makes for great vote buying strategy for state legislators, but results in increased cost to the workers compensation insurance companies.  When the insurance companies are not allowed to raise the premiums proportionally to the additional claims cost, they become selective in whom they will insure.  With cost increasing faster than premiums, very few insurance companies will write policies.  When they do write policies, they are very selective.  This results in employers with decent loss histories being pushed into the State Funds.

 

 

State Funds, like standard insurance companies, strive to assist the policyholders in reducing the number of insurance claims they have.  The State Funds often offer various services to the policyholders.

 

Guidance in establishing a Return-to-Work program

Offering comprehensive loss control programs including on-site inspections

Ergonomic evaluations

Educational materials including posters, pamphlets, safety manuals

OSHA compliance assistance

Anti-fraud programs

Wellness programs

In about a dozen states the State Fund is the insurance company of last resort.  The State Fund offers insurance coverage to all employers, often at a price that is slightly higher to much higher than what the insurance policy would cost from a standard insurance company.

 

 

When an employer cannot obtain workers compensation insurance from any other source, the department of insurance will mandate the employer be provided insurance by the State Fund.  Of course, the State Fund charges an appropriate premium to reflect the higher exposure to claims when they insure these employers.

 

 

The single state coverage of the State Funds often makes them a poor choice for employers who have operations in multiple states. For instance an employer who has operations in both California and Nevada can insure his California operations through the State Compensation Insurance Fund, but will have to locate another insurer for the workers compensation policy to cover the Nevada operations. (WCxKit)

 

 

State Funds are occasionally a smart choice for the employer.  The premium charged can be lower if the charter does not mandate the making of a profit.  The added services listed above – provide the policyholders with more value than the employer can purchase separately.  Check with your state Department of Insurance to see if there is a State Fund available in your state.

 

 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Editor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact:  mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

 

WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT GUIDEBOOK:  www.WCManual.com

 

WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

WC GROUP:  www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/

SUBSCRIBE:  Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Officer Charged with Workers Comp Fraud

 

 
Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully recently announced the filing of charges against California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer Tony Yao for felony workers compensation insurance fraud.
 
 
As outlined in the arrest warrant affidavit, Officer Yao filed a workers comp insurance claim on Aug. 11, 2011, stating that he had injured his back during firearms training at the CHP Academy on May 13, 2011. At the time of the alleged injury, Yao was assigned to an administrative position. [WCx]
 
 
For the next several months, Yao told his treating physicians that the back injury was so severe he was unable to perform even limited duties, including office work. Based on his complaints of pain and physical limitations, Yao’s doctors recommended that he undergo back surgery.
 
 
The CHP Office of Internal Affairs Workers Compensation Fraud Investigation Unit conducted an investigation into Yao’s claims. The investigation included several days of videotaped surveillance, where Yao is seen engaging in various physical activities, in direct conflict with the limitations he described to his physicians.
 
 
The investigation also revealed that on the date Yao claimed to have been injured, he had not used the training equipment for which he blamed the injury. He also failed to disclose back injuries he had previously received in a non-work related motor vehicle accident. [WCx]
 
 
Yao, who was arrested by the CHP and booked into the Sacramento County jail,has been placed on administrative leave pending completion of the investigation.

 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

LA Fire Department Supports Awareness Campaign to Reduce Tragic Confined Space Deaths

The Los Angeles Fire Department recently became the latest organization to sign on to Cal/OSHA’s confined space awareness campaign which is an effort to educate employers and employees about the dangers of working in confined spaces. The Oakland Fire Department is also participating. 

 

 

Cal/OSHA launched the statewide campaign in February, citing seven confined space deaths and numerous injuries in the state in 2011 – all of which were preventable. Cal/OSHA says its comprehensive approach to preventing further confined space deaths and injuries includes: public education and media alerts, enforcement and consultation and ongoing partnerships to help increase awareness and compliance.[WCx]

 

 

California's Department of Industrial Relations Director, Christine Baker, points out that employers need to have an effective emergency response plan in place before a critical situation arises.

 

 

Confined spaces are enclosed spaces that can be entered by workers, but have limited openings for entry or exit, and are not designed for continuous worker occupancy. Common examples include tanks, silos, pipelines, sewers, storage bins, drain tunnels and vaults. Confined spaces can be found in many industries and also in non-industrial workplaces. The 2011 California deaths occurred in a wide range of industries including a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical facility, a winery, a paint manufacturing plant and a recycling center.

 
 
One of these incidents occurred last January at Baxter Biosciences, a pharmaceutical manufacturer in Los Angeles. A 33-year old technician entered a blood plasma tank to measure its contents when he collapsed in the oxygen deficient atmosphere. Two of his colleagues entered the tank in order to attempt a rescue and collapsed as well. All three workers were extricated from the tank by the Los Angeles Fire Department. The first worker died, the second remains unconscious, and the third was injured but recovered.  

 

 

Last October, a similar scenario occurred at the Community Recycling & Recovery facility in Lamont, when a 16-year-old worker cleaning a drainage tunnel was overcome by hydrogen sulfide gas. Another worker, his brother, aged 22 was rushed in to save him and was also overcome. Both workers died. Last week, Cal/OSHA levied fines totaling $166,890 for multiple violations of confined space regulations against the employer. Cal/OSHA’s criminal investigation in this case is still ongoing.

 

 

It is even more tragic that in many cases, workers attempting to rescue their co-workers also fall victim,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Ellen Widess. “Confined spaces can be deceptively dangerous. Employers need to assess if they have such a hazard, identify and mark those spaces, provide employee and supervisor training and on-site rescue plans and equipment.”[WCx]

 

 

In the last year alone, we have responded to three confined space rescues,” said Los Angeles Fire Department Battalion Chief Jack Wise. “It is our experience that the victims, would-be rescuers and co-workers, either fail to adhere to their emergency plans or simply do not have a plan in place, with catastrophic results.”  
 

 

 

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

 

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

California Roofing Contractor Gets Year in Jail, Must Pay Restitution

A California roofing contractor was sentenced recently to one year in jail and was ordered to pay $510,000 in restitution for failing to provide workers compensation insurance for an injured employee and failing to pay insurance premiums for unclaimed employees, who were paid in cash.

 
 
According to the Orange County District Attorney’s office, Michael Amzie Holley, 43, Murrieta, pleaded guilty to a court offer to two felony counts of perjury by declaration, two felony counts of recording false and forged instruments, one felony count of misrepresenting facts to the State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF), seven felony counts of making a fraudulent statement, one felony count of presenting a fraudulent material statement to obtain compensation, one felony count of making a false statement to discourage an injured worker from claiming benefits, one felony count of willfully failing to pay taxes, one felony count of failing to file a return with the intent to evade taxes, and a sentencing enhancement for aggravated white collar crime over $500,000. [WCx]
 
 

At the time
of the crime, Holley was a roofing contractor and owner of So Cal Roofing. The defendant purchased a minimum workers compensation policy from SCIF and failed to state that he employed subcontractors, paid workers in cash, hired unlicensed employees, and leased employees from other companies. Holley paid his employees in cash to hide the fact that So Cal Roofing had workers. He received insurance based on his false declaration and entered into a contract requiring SCIF to cover all workers employed by Holley, even those employees unknown to the insurance company. Holley submitted inaccurate payroll reports to SCIF, resulting in underpayment of insurance premiums. To hide the fraud, Holley failed to file an accurate tax return to avoid paying taxes to the State on the cash payments made to his employees.
 
 
One of Holley’s employees was injured when he fell off a roof, and subsequently filed a workers comp insurance claim. Holley denied that the injured employee worked for him, thus denying the injured employee his workers comp insurance benefits. Subsequently, Holley fraudulently signed under penalty of perjury that he had no employees at So Cal Roofing and filed these documents with the California State Contractor’s Licensing Board to make him exempt from securing workers comp insurance.
 
 
California law requires that all employers maintain workers comp insurance for their employees. Payroll records showing the number of employees and their income must be submitted to both the workers comp insurance company and EDD, who oversee the collection of payroll taxes. [WCx]
 
 
Workers comp insurance rates are determined by a formula, which takes into consideration the number and type of employees and the company’s history of injury claims.
 
 

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

 

WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Workers Comp Fraud in California and Ohio

California Fraud Case

Manuel Perales, 50
, of Fontana, Calif., has been charged with two counts of workers compensation insurance fraud, according to the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office.
 
 
Recently, members of the DA’s Office, Workers Compensation Fraud Prosecution Unit, began an investigation into allegations of possible insurance fraud involving Perales. (WCxKit)
 
 
Perales reportedly sustained an industrial injury, while working for a local company. During the workers comp process, Perales withdrew his claim after being confronted with evidence that supported the incident was not true.
 
 
Although Perales withdrew his claim; he subsequently filed a second workers comp claim alleging that he sustained the same injuries, along with other industrial injuries, over a specific period of time, not including his original date of injury.
 
 
During this investigation evidence revealed that the allegations of workers comp insurance fraud were substantiated. As a result, an arrest warrant showing a bail amount of $100,000.00 was issued, charging Perales with insurance fraud. (WCxKit)
 
 
Later, Perales was located and arrested pursuant to the arrest warrant. He was transported, booked and housed at the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s West Valley Detention Center to await trial in this matter. Perales is scheduled for arraignment some time in 2012.


Ohio Fraud Case

A Cleveland (Cuyahoga County) woman was sentenced recently for fraud after Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) investigators found she was working for a veterinary hospital and a local charity while receiving benefits for a workplace injury. Nancy Palmer pleaded guilty and must repay more than $8,000.

 

BWC's Special Investigations Department (SID) reports it received an allegation that Palmer had been working at a local veterinary hospital. Investigators found she had returned to work as a veterinary assistant while receiving Temporary Total Disability benefits.(WCxKit)

 

According to the report, Palmer was performing duties such as office work, assisting during surgeries, cleaning and taking care of animals. It was also found that Palmer was working as a telephone solicitor for a local charity.

 

Palmer entered a guilty plea recently to a felony count of workers comp fraud. The judge ordered Palmer to pay $7,457.72 in restitution and $1,000 for investigative costs. She was also sentenced to seven months in prison, suspended for 18 months of community control.(WCxKit)

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Sacramento Resident Stung with Workers Comp Fraud Conviction

A Yolo County, California jury has convicted a West Sacramento resident and 25-year employee of The Sacramento Bee of workers compensation insurance fraud.

 
 
According to the Yolo County District Attorney's Office, Linda Vela, 58, was convicted of seven counts of workers comp fraud, three counts of presenting false statements concerning payment on an insurance policy and two counts of attempted perjury in connection with disability claims made over a two-year period. [WCx]
 

Vela, who was employed as a member of The Bee's finance department, left her position on disability and was diagnosed with bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome.
 
 
Vela, who had surgery on her right wrist, complained that she was still in pain after the surgery and that she could not go back to work despite the surgeon's recommendation that she return to work. Due to Vela's complaints of pain and her reported inability to use her hands, her physician kept her off work as "totally disabled."
As a result, Vela obtained workers comp benefits from The McClatchy Co., parent company of The Sacramento Bee, along with payment through Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.
 
 
Not long after starting to receive payments, Vela was nabbed on video doing many of the things that she told doctors she could not do.
 
 
An orthopedic surgeon who watched the surveillance video testified that Vela could go back to work with the restriction that she "avoids power gripping and torqueing." [WCx]
 
 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 
 
WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT GUIDEBOOK:  www.WCManual.com
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

California Employers Reminded to Post Worker Injury Summary through April 30

 

The California Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DIR/DOSH), also known as Cal/OSHA, is reminding all employers that the annual summary of all work-related injuries and illnesses (Form 300A), must be posted at their place of business now through April 30.

 

The form (300A) is available on DIR’s Web site.  The purpose of the form is to provide all employees the opportunity to review any and all injuries or illnesses that occurred at their place of work during the previous year. Former employees and their representatives also have a right to review the form.  The form must be posted in a visible and easily-accessible area. (WCxKit)

 

 
Transparency and accountability are very important aspects of the employer-employee relationship,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Ellen Widess. “This form gives employees, former employees and their representatives’ access to worksite injury and illness data.  Full and accurate reporting of injuries and illnesses is vital to understanding hazards in the workplace. It is also a good tool to determine where additional safety and health measures are needed.”

 

Employers are required to fill out and post the form every year, even if no workplace injuries occurred. Information that must be disclosed on the form includes total number of cases with days away from work, total number of days injured or sick employees spent away from work, and the different types of injury or illness suffered.

 

Employers who would like more information on their posting requirements or who would like more information on how to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses are encouraged to visit the DIR Web site at www.dir.ca.gov/DOSH/EmployerInformation.htm. In addition, if an employer would like to speak with a Cal/OSHA consultant, free assessments are available by calling the Cal/OSHA Consultation Program 1-800-963-9424. (WCxKit)

 

Employees with work-related questions or complaints can call the California Workers Information Hotline at 1-866-924-9757.


Author Robert Elliott
, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Porn Industry Requires Condom Use for Workers Safety, Workers Revolt

 

pic3Earlier this month the Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance requiring condoms to be used in all permitted adult films shot within their city limits. It brings up many interesting workers compensation issues. After all, this requirement is for the health and safety of employees. Is it any different from requiring construction workers to wear a helmet? Road workers to wear a bright, orange vest?

 

 

 

 

In this commentary on Salon.com porn performer, writer and director Lorelei Lee calls the ordinance well intentioned but ineffectual. She notes that the new law requires adult film production companies to pay a fee with permit applications. “Currently, condoms are used in the mainstream gay adult film industry (which includes only gay male films), while the heterosexual industry (which includes both lesbian and straight films) has used mandatory STI (sexually transmitted infections) testing as a health and safety precaution since the early 2000s,” she writes.

 

 

 

Lee writes that until May of 2011, the Adult Industry Medical Center, founded by a retired performer, ran a nationwide STI testing service and database that certified heterosexual performers as STI-free previous to their working on any production whereas the new ordinance is in response to a San Francisco-based nonprofit AIDS Healthcare Foundation campaign along with other groups that have picked and boycotted companies which sell or show condom-free pornography.

 

 

 

One of the protest leaders called the testing service a “fig leaf” over the adult industry and backed the lawsuit that led to the organization’s financial insolvency and shutdown last year, which left a vacuum in health and safety protections in the industry, Lee writes. “(He) seemed to hope that leaving performers without any kind of health protection would force legislators to mandate condom use,” she writes.

 

 

 

Lee writes that she became a condom-only performer in 2010 but had worked for eight years previously relying only on the testing service. “But during my time as a non-condom performer, I never once contracted an STI on set that condoms would have prevented, and truthfully, I’m not sure that condoms actually keep me safer than testing alone,” she writes.

 

 

 

She writes that performers have a mix of opinions as to whether they mind actually using condoms on set and some are even strongly opposed to using condoms at work, believing that they may actually increase likelihood of STI transmission.

 

 

 

Lee says what she is most opposed to is regulating condom use in the industry through government regulation. “Many of the people attracted to this industry are still those who don’t care a lot about public opinion or about obeying authorities. In the case of a condom mandate tied to permits, many producers will simply shoot in Los Angeles without a permit. Others will move production outside of the city – to places like Las Vegas, San Francisco or Miami, where some companies are already established,” she writes, noting that perhaps that s what the city is after.

 

 

 

In effect, Lee writes, this legislation has made it more difficult for the industry to use the protections already in place with AIM’s testing program. “We’re also opposed to the squandering of AHF resources – resources that could be effectively used to help prevent and treat HIV and AIDS – on a political campaign against an industry whose health and safety regulations are already working. In the decade since AIM began the program of mandatory testing, six performers have tested positive for HIV, and only three of those have shown to be from on-set transmissions,” she writes. “That’s three transmissions during the course of filming tens (or perhaps hundreds) of thousands of scenes. There are no real statistics as to how this compares to transmission rates in the general population.”

 

 

 

 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

 

ALL NEW 2012 WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT GUIDEBOOK:  www.WCManual.com

 

WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

WC GROUP:  www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/

SUBSCRIBE:  Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

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