BEWARE OF 1099’S AND WORKERS COMPENSATION POLICY AUDITS

The California legislature did not act this year to delay or change the Supreme Court decision in Dynamex, which laid out three criteria for a worker to be considered an independent contractor and not an employee. This decision makes it virtually impossible for most businesses to continue to classify workers as independent contractors.

This will likely be seen in Workers Compensation audits as current policies expire. Auditors and underwriters will be seeking to include money paid to independent contractors as payroll unless the insured employer can prove these workers meet the three requirements of the court decision.

The Supreme Court determined that to qualify as an Independent Contractor the employer must prove all of the following:
That the worker is free from the control & direction of the hirer in the performance of the work; and
That the worker performs work outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and
That the worker is customarily engaged in an independently-established trade, occupation or business of the same nature as the work being performed for the hiring entity.

If you have a lot of workers classified as Independent Contractors, you could be facing large additional premiums on your current and expiring policies as auditors will be applying these criteria.

Items subject to additional tariffs

Please find here a Request for Comments Concerning Proposed Modification of Action related to China and tariffs. Beginning on page 11, the document lists items subject to potential additional tariffs

EFFECTIVE AUGUST, 2018 ALL CALIFORNIA BUSINESSES WILL NEED TO REPLACE THE EXISTING PROP 65 WARNING SIGNS TO THE NEW UPDATED ONES

A lot of companies are trying to sell them online for over $50.00 a sign, but Safety Compliance Institute is giving them away for free. Please follow this link for your FREE Updated Prop 65 Poster.

California vs. Trump ‘will be a giant case’ over air rules, could end up in Supreme Court

From the Sacramento Bee

California and like-minded states are girding for a legal battle with the Trump administration on whether those states have gone too far in controlling greenhouse gases from automobiles, a prospective case that legal scholars say – barring a last-minute settlement – is sure to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies are expected to announce, as soon as this week, a rollback of national fuel economy standards for vehicles. They could also revoke California’s ability to set its own, tougher, air pollution limits. If the Trump administration  challenges California’s longstanding latitude to set its own emissions rules, it would be wading into untested legal waters, said Deborah Sivas, a law professor and expert on the Clean Air Act at Stanford University.

Read more here

Look in the Mirror for Climate Change

(OC Register) Until the first steam locomotives were invented in the early 19th Century, man could travel as far as he could walk or as far as his horse would take him. Life was dirty, smelly, difficult – and short. Life expectancy was short and human misery was assured. There was virtually no military and the only available weapons were the bow and arrow, swords, the single-shot Muscat rifle.

In the decades and centuries after 1900, after the discovery of oil, and the inventions of the automobile and the airplane, we now have a huge military of aircraft, ships, and artillery, an airline industry that can take us anywhere in the world consuming 225 million gallons of aviation fuels EVERY DAY to move almost 10 million passengers and other things EVERY DAY, a cruise line industry that takes us to all parts of the world consuming 30 to 50 gallons of fuel for EVERY MILE, a leisure industry of hotels, resorts, theme parks, and a transportation industry of rail, trucks and automobiles that can deliver products from around the world and take us to virtually any destination. We also have an electronic and aerospace industry that has everyone wired and wireless, and elaborate infrastructures to support the growing populations. Continue reading 

OSHA Requires California Employers to Submit Form 300A Electronically

From CompWest

OSHA is now requiring employers in state plans, including California, to file injury and illness reports electronically, using the federal agency’s Injury Tracking Application (ITA) online portal. Cal/OSHA recently confirmed that despite having not yet adopted its own state rule,California employers are advised to electronically provide form 300A data covering the calendar year 2017. The deadline for submission is July 1, 2018Read more from Cal/OSHA.

Worker’s Compensation Rates Lowering for Furniture Industry 

The WCIRB has recommended a mid-term rate reduction for California employers effective July 1, 2018 for new and renewal policies. If your policy renewal is after 7-1-18, you will have to wait until your normal anniversary date to get the new rates.
The following chart shows the PURE PREMIUM rates promulgated by the WCIRB that applies to most furniture manufacturers and distributors. These rates are the basis that insurers use to calculate their individual class rates.
CLASS
DESCRIPTION
OLD RATE
NEW RATE
% CHANGE
2881
Furniture Assembling
10.66
8.94
-16.14%
2883
Furniture Mfg Wood
13.31
13.08
-1.73%
3076
Furniture Mfg Metal
7.14
5.94
-16.81%
8015
Furniture Stores (distribution)
5.97
5.79
-3.02%
8810
Clerical
.37
.32
-13.51%
9522
Upholstering
9.55
7.68
-19.58
Not every insurer will pass on these changes, as the Pure Premium Rate is only one of many factors that go into the final Class Rate published by the different insurance companies.
Also, be aware that the Final Class Rate that applies to your specific company by a specific insurer has many modifications before it is applied to your policy. Final Rates and premiums will vary among insurance companies as they apply their own final rates.
Further, your Final Class Rate will be greatly affected by the Experience Modification Factor that is calculated each year and applied to your policy.

Relearning the ABCs: California Supreme Court Adopts New Independent Contractor Test, LaborSphere

[In April],  in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, 2018 WL 1999120 (Apr. 30, 2018) (Dynamex), the California Supreme Court upended the prevailing understanding of the independent contractor-employee distinction under California law. In a ruling that is certain to have wide-ranging repercussions for companies that rely on independent contractors, the Court declined to apply the multi-factor common law test derived from its 1989 decision in S.G. Borello & Sons, Inc. v. Dep’t of Indus. Rel’ns, 48 Cal. 3d 341 (1989) (Borello) to the question of whether a worker is an “employee” subject to the minimum wage and overtime protections of the California Industrial Welfare Commission’s (“IWC”) wage orders. Instead, the Court adopted a simple, three-part test that likely will expand the wage orders’ reach. Continue reading.

Shaking down manufacturers doesn’t help climate change fight, Sac Bee

California manufacturers are big players in the state’s efforts to address climate change. The largest companies are regulated through a program that will greatly reduce emissions and grow the economy at the same time. The result will be a win-win for jobs and the environment. Continue reading.

Opinion: With air-quality standards, is the cure worse than the disease? Orange County Register

Have we reached the point where air pollution regulations are harming people more than air pollution itself?

That’s the question at the heart of the dispute between the Trump administration and California about the Environmental Protection Agency’s air pollution program known as NAAQS, the National Ambient Air Quality StandardsContinue reading.