Monthly Archives: October 2010

UNDERSTANDING THE SPECIALTY DRUG TREND FORECAST AND WHY IT IS NEARLY DOUBLE THE RETAIL DRUG TREND

Although the pharmaceutical spending trend has declined in recent years, according to the Segal Company’s 2010 Health Plan Cost Trend Survey, the projected prescription drug trend is still 9.1% for the coming year, well above the country’s general inflation rate. This year’s figure is down significantly from the high of 19.7% reported in 2001. Running… Read more »

UNDERSTANDING THE PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT: HOW TO MAINTAIN OR LOSE GRANDFATHERED STATUS

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act enacted a package of Health insurance reforms for group health plans, including benefit mandates and Health insurance market reforms. “Grandfathered plans,” plans in effect on March 23, 2010 (the date of enactment), are exempt from certain but not all of the law’s provisions. The Internal Revenue Service, Department… Read more »

SUCCESSFUL SAFETY TRAINING FOR A DIVERSE WORKFORCE

When it comes time for safety training, differences among employees in your workforce can present a challenge. To ensure effective training, you need to take these factors into account. Age. Younger workers might have trouble taking their jobs, including the safety aspects, seriously. Older workers, on the other hand, might feel they already know it… Read more »

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT: FIVE STEPS TO PROTECTION

In the eyes of many people, personal protective equipment (PPE) is workplace safety. A hard hat, steel-toed shoes, and goggles are the most visible symbols of protection. However, these items form only part of a bigger picture. OSHA’s PPE standards in 29 CFR, 1910.132-138 include general requirements, as well as the rules covering eye and… Read more »

VIOLENCE ON THE JOB: REDUCE YOUR RISK

On August 3, 2010, Omar Thornton, a driver for a Connecticut beer distributor, killed eight fellow workers, with no warning, before committing suicide. “Ten seconds before [Thornton] started shooting, if you had asked me, does he look like he’s going to react in any way? I would have said ‘no, he seems calm,’” said, a… Read more »

SECOND OPINIONS UNDER THE ADA

Last month one of our Members had to deal with a request for disability accommodation/leave that seemed contrived by the employee as a way to protect her job. The question was whether the company could send the employee for a second opinion from a doctor of their choice. Here is the response from Linda Batiste,… Read more »

CYBER LIABILITY 101

What is Cyber Liability? In 1992, when I started our company and bought my first computer (a Gateway 33 mhz.), you couldn’t buy a “Cyber Liability” policy. Few people knew what a “website” was, and “security breaches” created images of Mission Impossible. Flash forward to 2010 and issues arising out of data security, management of… Read more »

USING CREDIT CHECKS

Many HR That Works Members have asked about limitations on using credit checks under federal and state laws. Here’s the most recent EEOC “informal” discussion letter on this topic. As of this date, four states (Illinois, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington) have laws restricting the use of credit checks to employees in financially sensitive positions –… Read more »

WHAT IS AN “IMPAIRMENT”?

Responding to an HR That Works Member who asked if an employee’s short stature, which limited her performance, could be considered a disability, Beth Loy from JAN http://AskJAN.org provided this document that summarizes the definition of an impairment (an essential requirement for a covered disability), and provides a number of examples.