Employment Practices Liability Insurance is designed to protect businesses when it comes to discrimination against employees. Ask your agent about it today.
Title VII interpretations on LGBT issues perplex employers.
PHILADELPHIA — Courts are just as confused as employers about whether federal law prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
People believe that there are federal protections for the LGBT community nationwide that really don’t exist, Victoria Nolan, risk and benefits manager for Clean Water Services in Hillsboro, Oregon, said at the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc.’s annual conference in Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Up until September 10, 2001, standalone terrorism insurance didn’t really exist. But after those horrific events, a new market emerged.
Chris Folkman, RMS senior director of product management, whose company creates risk models for terrorism, among other modelling, said the insurance industry was never the same after the September 11 terrorist attacks on US soil.
PHILADELPHIA — Coming soon to a workers compensation claim near you: medical marijuana.
That was the message to a roomful of risk managers at a session Tuesday on medical marijuana at the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc.’s annual conference in Philadelphia.
As of this month, 29 states and Washington now permit the use of medical marijuana — more than half the country.
California employers sentenced for workers comp violationsCalifornia employers sentenced for workers comp violations
Two California employers received prison sentences for workers compensation violations, Monterey County, California District Attorney Dean Flippo said in separate statements Tuesday.
Salinas, California, restaurant owner Chang Tai Lin pleaded guilty to two counts of making a material misrepresentation in order to obtain lower workers comp premiums along with one count of tax evasion. Between 2010 and 2016, Mr. Lin underreported the number of employees working at his restaurant, AA Buffet, and falsely reported payroll wages because he paid many employees in cash, the statement said.
When summer arrives each year, many people look forward to activities that they can only enjoy during warmer months. Summer is also a time for family vacations and relaxing. A typical American's summer plans may include outdoor activities, entertainment and traveling. While these are all great ways to make the most of the warm months, it is important to evaluate additional insurance needs. Accidents are bound to happen but do not need to end in bankruptcy. These simple insurance tips will help Americans enjoy their summer with peace of mind.
With the exception of some heavily regulated industries such as nuclear energy, military contracting and transportation, federal laws do not specifically address drug testing. However, many states and local governments regulate this practice. In most cases, the necessity of testing is left up to the discretion of the employer.
Drug Testing Prospective Employees
As a rule, state laws permit employers to test prospective employees for drug use. Drug testing is performed at the expense of the employer. Some states only permit drug screening tests if:
In a Social Media World, Are You Covered for Libel?
It is widely thought that a homeowner's insurance policy covers only incidents that physically occur in the home, which is partially correct. In fact, coverage can go beyond the home and can insure you for a personal injury claim, if the right conditions are in place. One may think of the term "personal injury" as requiring a physical injury suffered by another party. While a liability policy will likely apply to an incident of physical injury, personal injury is a broader concept. In the insurance world, personal injury can include harm caused by false arrest, detention, or imprisonment; malicious prosecution; wrongful eviction; slander; libel; and invasion of privacy. Basically, a personal injury policy can protect a homeowner and others covered under the policy against a claim for almost every injury that someone can experience without suffering any actual physical harm.
Given this broader definition of personal injury, would your policy cover a claim for accidentally saying something personally harmful on social media? It depends. Here are the most likely scenarios of what you may have:
Are your Workers Employees or Independent Contractors?
The United States Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service have combined their efforts to help various states share resources and information that will expose worker classification violations. Employers found to be in violation could face paying back taxes, back pay to workers, missed overtime, retroactive benefits, interest, fines, staff effort charges and legal fees. With situations where there are multiple violations or willful negative intent, the penalties and fines are worse. In addition to the money a violation would cost, employers would also face the negative effects of this damaging information being made available to the public.
The IRS has made it clear that it is not easy to classify independent contractors and employees. Every case they evaluate is different based on a wide variety of factors. To start, employers may think about whether they have control over a worker's performance and work outcomes. This is not based on whether an employer decides to exercise control. It is a matter of whether the employer actually has the legal ability to control the workers in these areas. The IRS has a set of rules called the Common Law Rules, which cover the categories of financial control, behavioral control and relationship classifications. None of these factors are individually decisive. The entire situation must be evaluated to make an accurate determination. In addition to these evaluations, employers may take the Economic Reality test from the Department of Labor. This test is based on the Fair Labor Standards Act and includes six factors that are similar to those used by the IRS.
One of the best ways to show that a worker is not an employee but an independent contractor is to show proof of that individual's ownership of a business. In addition to this, employers can show proof that the worker's tasks are not an integral part of the employer's business. Workers who are free to be hired by others or who perform freelance work are not considered employees. For every independent contractor used, businesses should keep vendor folders on file. The following paragraphs outline what information should be included in each file.
Every independent contractor should complete a W-9. This is necessary for creating a 1099 tax document. If the individual does not claim exemption, employers should withhold taxes. For current tax withholding percentage information, discuss the topic with an agent. However, independent contractors should be encouraged to check the box and file their own self-employment taxes.
Keep every invoice the contractor submits. Payment should be made based on these documents. If a worker is not an employee, he or she should not submit expense reports. Since mileage and equipment are a contractor's business expenses, contractors should not bill for these items. Make sure all invoices match 1099 forms, which must be sent to the independent contractor after the end of the year.
Proof Of Separate Business
If an independent contractor has his or her own business, keep any items that reflect proof of this. Business stationery, advertisements, brochures, business cards or any similar items are acceptable. For contractors who have their own sites on the Internet, it is important to print copies of any online pages where services are outlined.
It is important to have a written contract for every independent worker. This document should clearly state the nature of the relationship between the business and the worker. In addition to this, the project's details should be outlined. A contract should include what the business expects from the contractor, the payment terms and any deadlines. Make sure the document is dated and signed by both parties. If a contractor has a tax identification number, this should be included. New contracts should be created for each project when the same contractor is hired for multiple projects.
Before classifying a worker as an independent contractor, it is important for a business owner to do his or her homework carefully. Employment laws today are very strict, so discuss any concerns with an agent.
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