Laws have been created to protect employees who are injured on the job or who require extended time off. Both the Family Medical Leave Act and workers’ compensation were designed to help employees in those situations.

Approved Reasons for FMLA

FMLA ensures job protection for qualified employees who request unpaid leave. There are specific reasons for qualifying for FMLA, and the period of time must not exceed 12 weeks in 12 consecutive months.

  • Taking care of a family member with a serious health condition
  • Bringing a new child into the family, either by birth, foster care or adoption
  • Recovering from a health condition in which the employee isn’t able to perform essential job duties

Rules for Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation provides income and health care for qualified employees who are injured or become ill on the job. It doesn’t necessarily allow for job protection, however.

If an employee qualifies for compensation under the laws of both FMLA and work comp, the employer must evaluate the situation and provide leave under whichever law gives the employee the best compensation. Each state has different rules pertaining to FMLA and workers’ compensation, so the choice can seem daunting. To avoid confusion, it’s important for the business owner to discuss options with their insurance agent.

FMLA and workers’ compensation are in place to help employees in their time of need. Business owners who are prepared will better serve their workers.

Picking the best insurance provider can prove a bit more challenging than many people realize. When it comes to personal insurance, there are a ton of factors to consider. Do you need homeowner’s insurance? What about coverage for your automobile? Plenty of small business owners require additional policies to cover inventory stored at home. In order for you to feel confident in the provider you select, there are a few key factors to focus on with insurance companies in San Pedro.

Consider Your Specific Insurance Requirements

First and foremost, you want to ask yourself what type of insurance you require. Be as specific as possible. Even though taking out a general liability policy for a small business seems like a tangible goal, there are vast differences between the insurance needs of the retail industry and the service industry. This is true of any policy you may require. If you need a homeowner’s policy, consider the specifics of your house and what risks it might face due to location, history and environmental factors. Additional points to consider when researching insurance companies in San Pedro include:

  • Experience of the agents
  • Familiarity with your unique insurance needs
  • Competitive rates and options

Make an Informed Decision

By giving yourself time to refine your search for the right insurance provider, you are more likely to feel satisfied by the results. Conduct a bit of additional research and see what agency is a good fit for your needs.

Vessels are responsible for many different types of pollution, all of which harm the surrounding marine life and environment. It’s important to be aware of pollutants, as well as guidelines that attempt to temper them when trying to understand what vessel pollution really looks like in the modern world.

1. Air Pollution

Perhaps the most obvious type of pollution, air pollution from vessels is responsible for a large percentage of the world’s nitrogen and sulfur oxide emissions. Vessels also emit a number of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, which must be managed according to strict environmental guidelines.

2. Water Pollution

Water pollution has many faces but most commonly takes the form of oil spills. These spills not only pose an immediate threat to wildlife but also leave behind toxic materials that harm the marine environment for years to come. They can cause issues such as birth defects and interrupt the food chain indefinitely.

3. Sound Pollution

As vessels evolve, sound pollution poses an increasingly greater risk to marine life. Many animals rely on sounds to communicate, navigate, and survive. The often unnecessary noise emitted by vessels renders reliance on this sense difficult if not impossible.

Though they cannot be avoided entirely, the detrimental effects of vessel pollution can be significantly reduced. It’s often wise to turn to vessel pollution insurance as a means of adhering to environmental guidelines and responding to incidents. This allows vessels to operate efficiently while protecting the environment as much as possible.

Nonprofits are unique from regular businesses in that they don’t have a lot of formal employees. Instead, they have volunteers who still need to be covered in the case of accidents and injuries. A nonprofit that doesn’t have basic insurance coverage risks being sued over basic liabilities. Here are insurance types to consider for protecting your volunteers.

General Liability

First and foremost, general liability insurance simply covers anyone who is injured on your property or injured due to your negligence. It protects you from being sued for negligence by volunteers. This does not cover you or your property but is purely to keep you out of lawsuits and courtrooms.

Directors and Officers Liability

This insurance specifically protects your company and anyone working for it, including volunteers, from being sued for acts that caused harm, including breaches of duty and errors. You can even be protected from libel and copyright infringement.

Workers Comp

Workers’ compensation is not a part of volunteer insurance programs. It only covers official employees and does not extend to volunteers. Many insurance companies have add-ons for including volunteers in some portion of their other policies. If you are a company with many volunteers, you should consider these options before work begins.

Getting insurance for volunteers can be trickier than it seems. Making sure you have the right insurance to cover them can prevent hassle down the road.

When people imagine the pandemic, the security of their personal information probably isn’t at the top of their list. However, research shows that COVID-19 and healthcare cybersecurity go hand in hand. In fact, the Department of Health and Human Services reports a nearly 50% increase in breaches between February and May of 2020.

The Cause of the Increase

Cybercriminals may be high-tech, but they are still just criminals. Criminals look for opportunities, and the pandemic presents them. They have long since used remote medical devices to infiltrate healthcare computer systems and steal information, and the increase in patients has made that easier than ever. In addition, temporary medical facilities erected across the nation don’t have the same protection that established hospitals do. This leaves them vulnerable to security hacks that may go unnoticed as doctors and nurses continue to focus on taking care of COVID-19 patients.

Protecting Your Facility

The question is what can you do to protect yourself, your staff, and your patients from becoming victims of cyber theft during an already tumultuous time? Boosting security on computer systems is essential, of course. This means more encryption and avoiding open applications whenever possible. Staff training further protects your facility. Teach your personnel about the importance of guarding information and how to do it, including avoiding using personal applications or email addresses at work and always using strong passwords to log in to the healthcare system.

COVID-19 means you already have your hands full running your healthcare facility. Don’t make the mistake of trying to protect your business on your own. Cybersecurity professionals can work with you to ensure system protection and even train your employees to keep your facility safe.

Running a coin-op laundromat can be a very worthwhile venture. Laundromat operators face a unique set of risks regarding potential liability claims as well as damage to their property or equipment. They need to choose their insurance coverage carefully in order to fully protect their businesses.

Coverage Elections

Laundry insurance coverage needs will vary depending on a business’s assets and services. The value of its equipment and physical premises will be a significant factor in determining coverage needs. In addition, a laundromat that offers pickup and drop-off services will need extra policy coverage.

Liability Considerations

A laundromat can face many different types of liability scenarios. A customer can bring a claim for an item that is damaged or lost. Alternatively, a customer could sustain an injury at a laundromat and bring a claim for property damage. Likewise, an employee could sustain an injury and need to utilize worker’s compensation benefits.

A comprehensive commercial insurance package should address the full scope of your laundromat’s risk exposure so that your business will be protected in the event of a loss or liability claim. It’s advisable to work with an insurance company that is experienced in serving clients in your industry and has a strong understanding of the nuts and bolts of managing a laundromat.

Since the passing of regulation across the nation that allows for both medical and recreational use of marijuana, there has been an increase in the number of marijuana-based businesses operating across the country to meet the demand. There are numerous steps in the process to get to the final product, and hemp harvesters are often most important in the initial growth and reaping stages.  Despite being a third-party participant in the industry, these workers and operations have just as much liability as those who dispense hemp products.

Various Liability Concerns

Within the harvesting process, there are concerns over crop loss, equipment failure, and product spoilage. For large operations, the standard commercial concerns of general liability, workers’ compensation, and automotive liability are also present. Comprehensive insurance services that are uniquely written for the cannabis and industry-related businesses are a way to protect from the financial and legal fallout of a claim.

Risk Management Options

Hemp opens new doors for the farming industry, and given the new economic opportunities, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced two programs that will help protect the crops of hemp producers in the event of natural disasters. Risk management strategies, in addition to insurance, include knowing the compliance regulations for growing a product, conducting risk assessment audits over operations, and keeping employees well-trained and aware of risk concerns.

New regulations will continue to affect the hemp and cannabis production industry. Make sure your company has the right protections in place.

All food, including bottled water, has an expiration date. Because owners of restaurants, grocery stores, and convenience stores spend up to 30% of their annual budgets on food, they are always in a race against time to sell their inventory before it expires. Learn how much they stand to lose by throwing food away and whether there is a food spoilage tax deduction they can claim.

Spoiled Food 

There is no special tax deduction for spoiled or expired food. Deductions are rather based on the total cost of food purchased in the first place. The ultimate destination of the food and the amount for which it is sold does not affect this credit. Donating–rather than tossing–the food, however, does affect the tax rate.

Donated Food

A business that donates food before it expires can deduct the value of the food’s selling price. In this way, C-corporations can deduct up to 10% of their taxable income, and other businesses can deduct up to 30%. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 allows all businesses, including C-corporations, to deduct up to 15% of their taxable income if their donations meet certain criteria. They are allowed to deduct either two times the value of the food or its value plus half its profit margin.

As companies seek ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors in recruiting and retaining talent, many look to benefits offerings as a way to do so. Not too long-ago employees were courted with in-office perks such as pool tables, concierge service, and unlimited snacks. However, as much as those fringe benefits are enjoyed, employees still turn to core benefits as the main factor in keeping them engaged.

Core Benefits

Core benefits insurance usually refers to health and welfare-related benefits paid for by the company, including health and dental insurance. Core benefits may also include company paid income protection programs like life insurance and short and long-term disability coverage. Also considered core benefits are reimbursement accounts that the company contributes to on behalf of the employee, such as health savings and health reimbursement accounts.

Voluntary Benefits

Voluntary benefits are optional plans that fill a need the core benefits do not. For instance, a company may pay for an employee’s life insurance up to two times the employee’s salary but offer the option for the employee to purchase additional coverage on a voluntary basis.

Offering a comprehensive benefits program that includes both core and voluntary benefits allows a company to reaffirm its commitment to its employees, helps drive employee satisfaction and retain top talent.

Owners of commercial ships are responsible for the safety of both their vessels and their workers. However, they are not liable for injuries that occur to employees of other organizations while they work on their ships. If you are an employer planning to station staff on a boat you do not own, you may need Maritime Employers Liability Insurance.

What Is MEL Coverage? 

MEL is a type of policy that protects you and your employees while they work on a ship owned by someone else, including workers whose positions are not those of captain or crew member.  For example, if one of your workers gets hurt on the way to an oil platform, MEL insurance would cover the costs. It also covers employees stationed temporarily on a boat you own.

Do I Need MEL Insurance?

Having MEL insurance can save you from having to pay devastatingly large sums of money for personal damages. Here are a few examples of employee activities that might require you to have this type of coverage:

  • Building along the shoreline
  • Drilling
  • Surveying for seismic activity
  • Conducting scientific studies
  • Observing national fisheries

Any type of watercraft, including a pontoon, ship, or dredge, can be included under marine insurance. Most insurance companies sell MEL as a stand-alone policy.

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