On March 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its long awaited proposed rule to amend current overtime regulations. Specifically, the proposed rule would raise the minimum salary threshold under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) “white collar” exemption to $35,308 per year ($679 per week). The proposal does not call for automatic adjustments to the salary threshold; however, it does propose updates to the salary threshold every four years.
Currently, employees with a salary below $455 per week ($23,660 annually) must be paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week. Employees making at least this salary level may be eligible for overtime based on their job duties. This salary level was set in 2004.
Full information about the proposed rule is available here.
The public will now have 60 days to submit comments about the proposed rule electronically at www.regulations.gov. The DOL will take time to review submitted comments and an effective date for the final rule is not expected until 2020.
Gulfshore Insurance will continue to monitor any updates to the FLSA exemption rules and provide updates as they become available.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) just announced changes effective April 1, 2019 and January 1, 2020. The changes outlined below apply to new business and renewals that will become effective on or after April 1, 2019. The premium changes for Preferred Risk Policies (PRPs) and Newly Mapped procedure policies will become effective January 1, 2020.
Premium Increases and Surcharges
Average increase of 7.3%. These amounts do not include the HFIAA surcharge or the Federal Policy Fee (FPF).
For policies issued on or after April 1, 2019, there will be no changes to:
- Deductible Factors
- Federal Policy Fee
- Reserve Fund Assessment
- HFIAA Surcharge
- Probation Surcharge
Pre-FIRM Subsidized Policies (a group of policies in SFHA Zones A, AO, AH, A1-30, AE, A99, AR, AR/A1-30, AR/AE, AR/AO, AR/AH, AR/A, V1-30, and VE, that receive rates insufficient to pay the anticipated losses and expenses for that group)
- Other Pre-FIRM Subsidized Policies Not Subject to 25% Annual Increases: These are primarily condominium policies and multifamily policies. Premiums will increase 9%, with a total amount billed increase of 8%.
V Zones (coastal high-velocity zones)
- Rate increases are being implemented again this year as a result of the Heinz Center’s Erosion Zone Study, which clearly indicates that current rates significantly underestimate the increasing hazard from steadily eroding coastlines.
- Post-FIRM V Zones: Premiums will increase 6%, with a total amount billed increase of 6%.
A Zones (non-velocity zones, which are primarily riverine zones)
- Post-FIRM A1-A30 and AE Zones: Premiums will increase 4%, with a total amount billed increase of 3%.
- AO, AH, AOB, and AHB Zones (shallow flooding zones): Some policies within this rating category will have premium changes; however, for the entire category the average premiums and total amount billed will remain unchanged.
X Zones (zones outside the Special Flood Hazard Area)
- Standard-Rated Policies: Premiums will increase 1%, with a total amount billed increase of 1%.
Click here to download the summary
According to a recent report by the National Safety Council, 69% of employees are tired on the job, which significantly increases the risk of workplace injuries and incidents. The report focuses on results from high-risk industries where fatigue can have dire consequences for those in safety-critical positions, including industries like construction, manufacturing, transportation, and utilities.
The report revealed that:
- 100% of construction workers report having at least one risk factor for fatigue.
- 46% of construction workers say they work during high-risk hours, such as at night or early morning.
Worker fatigue is often an overlooked hazard on the construction site. Fatigue, whether physical or mental, impairs a construction worker’s ability to safely and effectively perform their job duties. It increases the risk of accidents and injuries which can lead to unnecessary workers’ compensation costs and can greatly reduce productivity on a project.
To combat construction worker fatigue, employers should develop a fatigue management plan to help reduce the risk of fatigue-related accidents. Employers should make workers aware of the dangers of working while fatigued. Don’t overload workers with too much or put unrealistic expectations for the completion of tasks because workers will feel compelled to push themselves too hard to complete them.
Employers should also monitor workers for signs of fatigue. Ensure that workers are taking adequate breaks throughout the day, and make sure workers drink plenty of fluids, especially on hot days, as dehydration can contribute to fatigue. Employers need to be mindful of the effects that shift work, overnight work, and extended hours have on their employees.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this information, please contact us. We are here to assist you and happy to answer any questions you have.
In the 1980’s, Congress amended the Social Security Act to include the Medicare Secondary Payer Act (MSP), which effectively enacted Medicare liens. In 2003, the Government clarified its position that self-insured entities were also included in the MSP in passing the Medicare Act of 2003. Prior to the Act, Medicare did not have an efficient mechanism to identify or evaluate instances where Medicare’s liability should have been secondary. In 2003, the government took no steps to actively pursue settling Medicare eligible plaintiffs. Medicare lacked efficient mechanisms to pursue cases where its liability should have been second to the responsible party.
On December 29, 2007, the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 (MMSEA) was signed into law. MMSEA amended the MSP to impose new reporting duties on liability insurance plans, private self-insured entities, Group Health Plans, no fault insurance plans and Workers’ Compensation plans. Read more
Every five seconds there is a vehicle crash in the United States. Wouldn’t you like to know if your drivers are at a greater risk of being involved in an accident? The Driver Performance Analysis System (DPAS) is a tool that can help. DPAS is a two-phase driver performance measurement and analysis program which, when completed, is a valid and reliable measure of a driver’s traffic related knowledge and skills.
The DPAS system evaluates a driver’s capability in four critical dimensions:
- Traffic Knowledge
- Perceptual Skills
- Traffic Risk and
- Traffic Procedures
The system produces results in terms of:
- Score (relative to the universe)
- Likelihood of being involved in a crash
- Probability that training will improve abilities in each of the four areas.
This interactive, web-based tool can help:
- Identify high-risk drivers
- Improve driver abilities
- Reduce crashes
- Enhance hiring decisions
- Minimize claims
- Reduce liability
- Instill professionalism
- Reward low-risk drivers
- Enhance profitability
For more information on DPAS, contact us today.