News

California Wildfires Distress Insurance Market

Author, Chase Hixson, Account Executive, Human Services Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

2018 saw the most destructive wildfire season ever recorded in California. Over 1.8 million acres were burned; 22,751 buildings were destroyed and over 100 lives perished. As a result, insurance claims have exceeded $12 billion and are expected to rise.

Senate Bill 778 Extends Employee Anti-Harassment Training Deadline

Author, Alyssa Burley, Media Communications and Client Services Manager, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Newly passed Senate Bill 778 (SB 778) extends the deadline set in Senate Bill 1343 for California’s mandatory Anti-Harassment Training from January 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021. The bill also addresses concerns about supervisory employees and clarifies when temporary workers must be trained. California Governor Newsom signed the bill into law on August 30, 2019, which included an urgency clause that allows the bill to go into effect immediately.

California Workers’ Compensation Dual Wage Thresholds Increases Approved for Construction Classes in 2020 – Bottom Line Hit Hard

Author, Sam Clayton, Vice President, Construction Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

In an effort to keep you informed, so that you can begin to budget for 2020, we wanted to let you know of the approved changes in the dual wage classifications effective January 1, 2020.

Providing Anti-Harassment Training Is the Employer’s Responsibility

Author, Alyssa Burely, Media Communications and Client Services Manager, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Many industries like construction utilize a semi-transient workforce that can shift from company to company as labor needs change throughout the project’s life cycle. Employees may work a few months for one employer, then move on to another employer when the project is completed. This scenario poses a dilemma for California employers looking to comply with Senate Bill 1343 (SB 1343). Providing training to an ever-changing workforce can be a challenge.

CAL/OSHA Emergency Rule Adopted for Wildfire Smoke

Author, Drew Garcia, Vice President, Landscape Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.
Author, Steve Hamilton, Loss Control Supervisor, Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies.

On Thursday, July 17 2019, the California Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board voted to adopt an emergency standard requiring employers to take action when air quality particulate matter measures greater than 150 and when there is reasonable expectation that employees will come in to contact with wildfire smoke. 

Employers Prepare As Reports of Sexual Harassment Spike

Author, Alyssa Burley, Media Communications and Client Services Manager, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Americans are all too familiar with the #MeToo movement that has shed light on sexual harassment in the workplace. Outspoken celebrities and prominent public figures have brought this topic to the forefront in the media. With all the publicity surrounding sexual harassment allegations, people are empowered to speak out and report unwanted behaviors in the workplace. This leaves many employers asking what they can do to prevent harassment and prepare for possible harassment allegations.

Fleet Management: Driver Behavior Counts

Author, Sam Clayton, Vice President, Construction Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

When you give the car keys to your teenager for the first time, you wish you were sitting in the back seat controlling how they drive. Unfortunately, you have very limited control and the consequences of poor driving can be disastrous. It’s time to think of your employee drivers in a similar manner; these principles apply to your company’s fleet management program.

Time To Renew Your Bond Line of Credit

Author, Matt Gaynor, Director of Surety, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

The majority of Rancho Mesa’s contractor clients have a fiscal year, end of December 31, for their company financial statements. During March, April, and May we collect a variety of financial information from our contractors to update the bonding company. The underwriting items we request include the 12/31 CPA financial statement, along with the work in progress and closed contract schedules. We also request an updated bank letter, account receivable/account payable schedules, and a personal financial statement from the owner.

OSHA Amends Electronic Submission Requirements to Exclude Forms 300 & 301

Author, Lauren Stumpf, Media Communications Assistant, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

OSHA published a final rule through the Federal Register on January 25, 2019 stating, “To protect worker privacy, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is amending the recordkeeping regulation by rescinding the requirement for establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit information from OSHA Forms 300 and 301.”

Cause of Concerns for Contractors: Implementation of Aerial Lift Standards

Author, Casey Craig, Account Executive, Construction Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Beginning December 2019, standards for using and renting aerial lifts will drastically change, globally. As a result, contractors are concerned they will not be prepared for the changes which could lead to loss of production and fines.

Ensuring CA Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Training is SB 1343 Compliant

Author, Alyssa Burley, Client Services Coordinator, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

In September 2018, former California Governor Jerry Brown approved Senate Bill 1343 (SB 1343) which expanded the requirements for Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention training within California workplaces.

In order for the Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention training to be compliant, it must meet the following requirements. The training must:

IRS Extends 2018 Deadline for 1095c Forms

Authors, Shane Medlin, Employee Benefits Account Executive, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2018-94 outlining extended deadlines for 2018 Minimum Essential Coverage under Section 6055 and Large Employer Shared Responsibility under Section 6056. This notice extends the due date to provide individuals the 2018 Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, and the 2018 Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, from January 31, 2019, to March 4, 2019. This notice also extends good faith transition relief from section 6721 and 6722 penalties to the 2018 information reporting requirements under sections 6055 and 6056.

California SB 1343 Expands Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

Author, Alyssa Burley, Client Services Coordinator, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc,

On September 30, 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown, approved Senate Bill 1343 (SB 1343), which expands rules for required sexual harassment prevention training for businesses.

Currently, employers with 50 or more employees must provide supervisors with sexual harassment prevention training every two years. By January 1, 2020, employers with 5 more employees must provide at least 2 hours of sexual harassment prevention training and at least 1 hour of training to non-supervisory employees. The trainings are required every 2 years.

Cal/OSHA Issues Electronic Filing Requirement For 2017 OSHA 300A Form

Author, Alyssa Burley, Client Services Coordinator, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

In April 2018, federal OSHA announced all affected employers are required to submit injury and illness data (i.e., Form 300A data) via the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) online portal by July 1, 2018, even if the employer is covered by a state plan like those in California, Maryland, Minnesota, South Carolina, Utah, Washington or Wyoming.

Important Reminder for Janitorial Business Owners: Property Service Worker Protection Act

Author, Jeremy Hoolihan, Account Executive, Construction Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

A few of my janitorial clients have recently asked for information on the Property Service Worker Protection Act (AB 1978) and its requirements. Below is a description of the law and instructions on registering. As a reminder, the deadline for all janitorial service providers to register for the Property Service Worker Protection Act was October 1, 2018. If you have not yet registered, I would recommend doing so, as soon as possible.

Focus on preventing Back Injuries: Introducing Rancho Mesa’s A.B.L.E Lift Protocol and the “Field” Mobility & Stretch Program

Author, Drew Garcia, Vice President, Landscape Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services.

Physical work is demanding on our bodies. As the employer, what are you doing to help your employees prepare for the day’s work? Collectively, the most severe injuries come from the lower back by way of strain or sprain as a result of lifting. It’s not always the heavier objects causing the injuries. In many cases, early morning “light” lifts or movements can quickly cause a strain or sprain. Eliminating lifting exposures is the ultimate solution to limiting back strains; however, it is not always possible. Interactively training your employees to accurately lift material with proper technique is a preventive approach you can implement today to limit your businesses lifting exposure.

Six Proactive Steps to Prevent Heat Illness During a Scorching Summer

Author, Dave Garcia, President, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

The National Weather Service has issued heat warnings for many parts of California starting today, and excessive heat warnings for some other areas. Temperatures are expected to rise to 110ºF in some parts of the Sacramento Valley, for instance. In the desert areas of Imperial and San Diego counties, they will soar as high as 114ºF.

WCIRB Proposed Changes Affecting Schools and Disabled Services

Author, Chase Hixson, Account Executive, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

The Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) recently announced plans to reclassify the 8868 (i.e., professors, teachers or academic professional employees) and 9101 (i.e., all employees other than professors, teachers, or academic professional employees) class codes under the belief that there is significant disparity between the businesses that currently fall under these two classifications.  These changes are planned to go into effect January 1, 2019.  

Four Factors When Developing a Nonprofit Agency's Youth Protection Plan

Author, Sam Brown, Vice President, Human Services Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services.

When designing youth protection measures, many nonprofit leaders want to understand the industry’s “best practices” and incorporate what already works for others. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to identify one set of “best practices” or a universal checklist all organizations should adopt. As a result, it will benefit nonprofit leaders and their clients to tailor daily practices to the unique exposures and operations of the agency. When doing so, it’s best to consider four important factors when designing a youth protection program.

Risk Management Center Streamlines Electronic OSHA Reporting

Author, Alyssa Burley, Client Services Coordinator, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) now require certain employers to electronically submit their completed 2016 Form 300A.  OSHA has created a website that allows employers to manually complete the information or upload a formatted CSV (comma-separated values) file