Independent Contractors vs Employees – What’s your Workers Comp Liability?

The question of whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee is not easily answered. Merely agreeing with someone on independent contractor status does not make it so. Also, California workers’ compensation laws relating to employee versus contractor status are different from the laws applied to this status question by other state and federal agencies.

Read the full guide from State Compensation Insurance Fund

Business Continuity Planning in 4 Steps

There are many reasons why your company needs a business continuity plan. Having a strategy – before an event happens – helps to maximize the chance your business can recover while minimizing the loss of property, life and assets.

Developing your business continuity plan should be a thoughtful process resulting in a plan that can be beneficial to you if an event occurs.

Read the full Business Continuity Planning Guide from Travelers

Overtime Rule Changes in the Federal Employment Standards Act

In 2014, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the Department of Labor to update the regulations defining which white collar workers are protected by the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime standards. Consistent with the President’s goal of ensuring workers are paid a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work, the memorandum instructed the Department to look for ways to modernize and simplify the regulations while ensuring that the FLSA’s intended overtime protections are fully implemented.

Read the Key Provisions of the Final Rule regarding Overtime from the FLSA. 

OSHA Hazard Communication Standards Guide

OSHA has amended it’s hazard communication standard (HCS) to align with the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The first regulatory deadlines have passed with employers expected to be in full compliance by June 2016. The often-overlooked element is the labeling of secondary containers.

Download this guide to the GHS requirements from Eatwell Consulting

Keeping Cal/OSHA Training Records

During a California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) inspection, the inspector will ask to see a lot of written materials, including any records you have of training that has been provided to employees. If you don’t have the records—or if something is missing—Cal/OSHA is likely to cite you not for missing records but for failing to provide training at all. Unless you’ve kept written records, Cal/OSHA will figure it just didn’t happen.

Read the full guide to Training Records from Eatwell Consulting

Employee or Contractor? Payroll Misclassifications

Hiring independent contractors is an attractive option for many employers. They can provide valuable flexibility, require less administrative work, reduce cost and reduce potential liability. Problems can arise when an employee is misclassified as an independent contractor when the employee really isn’t. Various state and federal agencies including the Department of Labor (DOL), the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) all may take issue.

Download all of the tips on Payroll Misclassifications from Eatwell Consulting.

Personal Use of Company Vehicles Guide

Vehicle accidents can create a significant loss exposure for businesses that operate vehicles. When these vehicles are used by employees outside the scope of work, this exposure is increased. That’s because liability for vehicle accidents generally fall on the business that owns or leases the vehicle, regardless of how the vehicle is being used. To help limit this potential for loss, it is important for businesses to identify the extent of this exposure and take steps to control it. Consider the following loss scenario.

Read the full Personal Vehicle Use guide from Travelers

2015 Travelers Business Risk Index

The 2015 Travelers Business Risk Index shows that cyber security has moved near the top of the list of concerns for business leaders in the past year. Executives’ concerns over medical cost inflation, legal liability issues, how to attract and retain the right talent, complying with laws, and apprehension about overall economic uncertainty have remained about the same as last year.

Read the Full Travelers Business Risk Index

Rules of the Road for Company Drivers

Over the years, umpires read and re-read their baseball rule book. Knowing the rules, participating in pre-game conferences and post-game debriefings are key to an umpire’s ability to make the right judgment calls in what they see and what they do on the baseball field. Companies also need rules for their drivers. Drivers, like umpires, need to know the “Rules of the Road.” Rules are part of the development of the skill to make good judgments that affect safe driver behaviors.

The rules of the road for driver safety are simple, common sense and designed to help minimize fleet loss exposure. Hold supervisors accountable for communicating the rules and demonstrating the driver safety message. This includes providing drivers with a written set of the rules, and checking with drivers periodically to confirm their understanding. Supervisors should go over each rule, entertain any questions and discussion around them. Each driver should sign a driver training statement acknowledging that these rules have been reviewed with them and given a copy of this written and signed document.

Encourage drivers to review the rules of the road like a sports rule book- read and re-read it. It is a reference guide and a reminder of safe fleet behaviors. It is intended to help drivers make the right judgment calls in what they see and do before they go on the road (pre-game conference), when they are on the road, and what they do post trip (the post game debriefing).

Get the Guide to Encouraging Safe Driving