The California legislature was certainly busy last year, resulting in a number of new and significant employment laws effective January 1, 2018. Employers should take note of the following key developments and review their policies and practices—preferably with counsel—to ensure they are in compliance and limit their potential exposure.
Workers’ compensation insurance costs are directly tied to the classifications assigned to a business. An employer may be forced to pay more in premiums if the Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) or insurance carrier incorrectly assigns a more expensive classification.
While the Insurance Commissioner relies on the WCIRB to develop classification rules, RPNA recently succeeded in overturning two WCIRB classification assignments. And it did so after a hearing in front of an administrative law judge assigned by the Insurance Commissioner.
RPNA Partner Nick Roxborough is teaming up with several other dynamic speakers to share his expertise on the hot topic of workers’ compensation issues at the CWC Risk Conference on September 8, 2017. With breaking news involving recent indictments and precedential bad faith claims mishandling decisions, the expert panel will discuss the ripple effect of fraudulent activities that have had and will…
RPNA Partner Drew Pomerance is joining the esteemed Employment Law Panel at CAALA’s Annual Las Vegas Convention on September 1, 2017 at the Wynn Hotel. The expert panel will present hot topics in employment law such as wrongful termination, gender and racial discrimination, equal pay, and whistleblower cases. Mr. Pomerance will be focusing on the latest developments in wage and hour law, including “off-duty” rest breaks, “on-call” meal periods, “call-in” scheduling, and class action waivers. He will also provide an update on PAGA claims and key legislation to watch. Mr. Pomerance is a regular speaker at the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles’ annual conference, touted as the largest convention of trial attorneys in the nation with over 2,800 attendees. For more information about the conference and to register, visit http://caalavegas.org. To learn more about Mr. Pomerance’s practice, click here.
RPNA Partner Drew Pomerance is scheduled to speak on August 29, 2017 at the California HR Conference (CAHR) in Long Beach. As one of the principal attorneys in the landmark Supreme Court decision in Augustus v. ABM, he will be exploring the impact of this ruling on rest break requirements and clarify employers’ obligations to employees. He will also offer the latest strategies employers can use to minimize their exposure to wage and hour litigation and protect themselves from class action suits, which can spiral out of control and result in a huge uninsured risk.
Decision shows employers and excess carriers are on same footing in TPA claims mishandling
RPNA won a significant claims mishandling case on behalf of Swiss Re, one of the world’s leading providers of reinsurance. After a three week trial, the superior court ruled that Sedgwick TPA Specialty Risk Services (SRS) committed seven distinct acts of negligence in handling a workers’ compensation claim that caused damages of nearly $6.8 million. Combined with prejudgment interest, the verdict totals in excess of $9.1 million.
“We litigated tenaciously for years,” explains RPNA partner Michael Adreani, who co-tried the case with RPNA senior partner Drew Pomerance. “It’s probably the most contentious litigation I’ve ever handled.”
Last week, the California Department of Insurance (CDI) reached a settlement agreement with Applied Underwriters, holding the Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary accountable and ending its bait-and-switch marketing tactics to sell its workers’ compensation products. Applied Underwriters has agreed to drop its petition to block the CDI’s enforcement action and come into compliance with well recognized state filing requirements.
Applied Underwriters’ products has spurred a wave of litigation and enforcement actions from regulators in multiple states, including Vermont, Wisconsin and New York. In the California cases Luxor Cabs v. Applied Underwriters Captive Risk Assurance Company—which was successfully handled by RPNA—and Shasta Linen Supply, Inc. v. Applied Underwriters, Inc., the courts ruled against Applied Underwriters, voiding its EquityComp Reinsurance Participation Agreement since it was not filed with the CDI and was therefore unenforceable.
RPNA Partner Michael Adreani advised employers at a recent conference on how to avoid costly litigation, often in the form of class actions, for violations of California’s meal and rest period requirements. Adreani, who won an $89 million judgment in a landmark class action employment suit last December, was invited to share his insights at…
RPNA Partner Michael Adreani advises employers to have their practices signed off by all employees to ensure acknowledgement and to stay apprised of the ever-changing California Labor Code to avoid legal actions brought under PAGA, the Private Attorneys General Act. Adreani was asked for expert commentary in a recent San Fernando Valley Business Journal article…
RPNA joined forces with Lockton to present an informative session at this year’s National RIMS Conference in Philadelphia, titled “Walking the FMLA-ADA-Workers’ Compensation Tightrope.“
RPNA Co-Managing Partner Drew Pomerance and Lockton Vice President Tamara Johnson discussed the interactive process between FMLA, the ADA, and workers’ compensation claims. They offered effective strategies and processes to minimize exposure to civil claims while improving claims outcomes for guaranteed cost, self-insured retention or qualified self-insured coverage. Additionally, they helped risk managers unravel the confusion caused by increased regulation and shared their insights on how to equip workers with the correct information and benefits, while being an advocate for their recovery.