An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) addresses a current top concern for employers; ensuring the health and safety of employees as part of a return to work program and helping with mental health during shelter in place orders. EAP services help employees to cope with their personal or professional struggles and are a preventive measure against future serious mental or health issues occurring. By offering this type of resource as employees transition back to work, employers provide access to valuable resources to support wellness and communicate clearly to their employees that they are cared for. What is an Employee Assistance Program? An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides various services to resolve issues that interfere with an individual’s wellbeing and work performance. The services are usually no cost to the employee and are usually include services to family members. They encompass both personal and professional support for employees as well as consultation for issues between management and employee(s). An EAP provides counseling, referral services, apps, training, and access to educational information for some of the following issues: substance abuse legal concerns job stress personal problems health issues financial problems coping with grief eldercare or childcare workplace difficulties life planning challenges of returning to work from a leave Benefits of offering an EAP include: motivating employees to self-help through no-cost, easy to access to resources providing quality support for assessment and referral potentially limiting healthcare costs through preventive services may reduce worker’s compensation claims may decrease employee turnover proof of an EAP may be required when applying for some types of liability insurance Work-Life Balance Program Our exclusive UNUM Voluntary Life/AD&D Association Plan includes a complimentary Life Balance Employee Assistance Program. This is a great option for small to midsize employers who may not qualify for a full-service EAP package. The UNUM Work-Life Balance EAP provides the following solutions: Confidential, short-term counseling from Licensed Professional Counselors Child and/or eldercare referrals Financial and legal referrals Time management and relocation support Unlimited access to legal forms Career Development Health Advocate Wellness and other resources HR tools and consultation for management on disciplinary measures for employees. Issues discussed are confidential*, and they may be by phone or in-person with a limit of up to three in-person meetings per issue. Many group disability plans also offer this type of EAP, and HR administrators should check the group policy before adding a separate employee assistance program. Excepted Benefit If an EAP meets certain qualifications, it will be considered an excepted benefit. This means that it is exempt from the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The qualifications for an EAP to be an excepted benefit are: • “The EAP is offered at no cost and eligibility is not conditioned on participation in another plan;• The EAP does not require cost-sharing for services (i.e., there are no co-pays, deductibles, or co-insurance);• The EAP does not coordinate benefits with another plan; and• The EAP does not provide significant benefits in the nature of medical care.” (ThinkHR) Communication is Key Whether your nonprofit already has an EAP in place or whether you are looking to add an EAP to the employee benefits, communication is key for a successful program. HR administrators need to educate staff on the services available through their EAP. In a 2019 UNUM study, it was found that 46% of workers did not know whether they had an EAP through their employer while a high percentage of employers do in fact offer an EAP to their employees. Developing a plan for communication strategies throughout the year to remind your staff of the services available may increase utilization by employees, which is one of the crucial components for a successful program. References Employee Assistance Programs UNUM Mental Health in the Workplace May 2020 Update (to add link) Additional Flexibility for FSA and HSA Programs is good news. Does your nonprofit offer a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Health Savings Account (HSA), and/or a Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP)? If so, we have some good news for FSA, HSA, and DCAP participants to share! Thanks to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), employers now have some additional flexibility in those programs. Good News for Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) Offers expanded allowable eligible medical expenses to include more over-the-counter (OTC) items, including menstrual care products to be reimbursed through an FSA.Extended claims periods to apply unused amounts for expenses incurred through 12/31/2020 in an FSA.Ability to make mid-year elections (new, revoke existing, and /or change existing elections retroactive to January 1, 2020) in an FSA.Allows the carryover amount to be increased to $550 form $500 for an FSA. See What is a FSA? in FSAStore.com for an explanation of flexible spending accounts. Good News for Health Savings Accounts (HSA) Expanded allowable eligible medical expenses to include more over-the-counter (OTC) items, including menstrual care products in an HSA.Contributions to an HSA are not affected by High Deductible Health Plans covering telehealth and remote care services (previously would be considered disqualifying). See our blog article, What is an HSA?, for an explanation of health savings accounts. Good News for Dependent Care Assistance Programs (DCAP) Extended claims periods to apply unused amounts for expenses incurred through 12/31/2020 for a DCAP.Ability to make mid-year elections (new, revoke existing, and /or change existing elections retroactive to January 1, 2020) for a DCAP. Please see IRS Notice 2020-29 and Notice 2020-33 for more details. Please leave comments below or contact your CalNonprofits Insurance Services dedicated team if you have any questions or if you would like to request an updated list of eligible medical expenses for your employee’s FSA, HSA and/or DCAP accounts. If you would like to join our mailing click link below. Join Us to Receive Monthly Updates Workers’ Compensation Rating Bureau (WCIRB) is the independent bureau that sets classifications and rules for Workers’ Compensation carriers in California. They have proposed some changes to the handling of claims and payroll relating to COVID-19 that could have a BIG impact on the work comp premiums you pay this year and into the future. It is crucial that you keep excellent, detailed records now so that you can take advantage of these changes, if approved. Proposed Rule Changes On April 20th the WCRIB issued a special regulatory filing to the California Insurance Commissioner, to address some issues that would help employers through the COVID-19 crisis. A public hearing will be held in May 2020, and if approved by the Insurance Commissioner, the rule changes will need to be communicated and enacted by every carrier in the State of California – retroactively. 1) Exclude COVID-19 related claims from experience rating Current Rule: All employers with premiums in excess of $25,000 are given an Experience Modifier that includes all approved claims for workplace injuries or illness under the premise that past experience compared to expected loss is a predictor of future loss. The Experience Modifier can increase or decrease the premium that would otherwise be paid Proposed Rule: Claims that are due to a diagnosis of COVID-19 are to be excluded from the employer’s experience modification calculations. For a claim to be excluded, the accident date must be on or after December 1, 2019. Employers will need to double check that carriers report the claim on the Unit Statistical Report with Catastrophe #12 to be excluded. 2) Re-Classification of Employees to Clerical Classifications Current rule: Employers may only reassign an employee whose job duties have permanently changed to a different classification. Temporary or partial year reassignments are not allowed. They may also not divide classifications between clerical and another classification for a single employee unless permanently reassigned. This rule limits the ability of employers to use the 8810 classification for employees during the Stay at Home Order, though their exposure may be primarily clerical while temporarily working at home. Proposed Rule: Effective March 19, 2020 (start date for the Stay at Home Order) and for up to sixty days after the Stay at Home Order is lifted, employers may reassign other classifications to the clerical classification 8810 – if employees are only performing clerical duties during the stay at home order. This does not apply if an employee’s normal classification is clerical. This would be considered a temporary reassignment and employees must be assigned back to a non-8810 classification once normal job duties have resumed. An employer may only reassign an employee one time during the rule change time period. Employers must maintain adequate records to determine the employee was only performing clerical duties during this time and be able to segregate their payroll. 3) Exclusion of Payroll to Non-Working Employees Current Rule: Worker’s Compensation includes non-working payroll, such as sick pay, vacation pay, family leave, or bonus in calculation of premium. Proposed Rule: Exclude payroll of workers that are not working but still getting paid (including paid leave under FFCRA). This rule would take effect on the date of the governor’s order (3/19/2020) and up to 30 days after the order is lifted or the employee is back at work. Employers will need to keep records showing that these employees were performing NO work and were not expected to work during the period covered by the excluded payroll. More News – Presumption Ruling The governor is planning to sign an executive order that would presume COVID-19 illness claims for essential workers were contracted in the course and scope of their job. This means they would receive Workers’ Compensation benefits without having to prove they contracted the illness in the arising out of or in the course of their employment. This is estimated to add between $2.2 billion – $33.6 billion to the claims expenses incurred by carriers and even if excluded from experience rating (per proposed rule change #1 above) will eventually increase WC rates. The major portion of that cost estimate are attributable to Class 1 Essential workers – frontline medical personnel and first responders. For daily updates on these changes visit WCRIB California Filings and Plans. State Compensation Insurance Fund has already stated in its Additional Support for Policyholders and Workers that they are accepting claims by essential workers who have a confirmed positive test without making them prove it was contracted in the course of employment. Would you like to receive monthly updates on employee benefits and risk management for California’s nonprofits? Join Our Mailing List References COVID-19 and Workers’ Compensation – What Employers Need to Know (WCRIB) State Compensation Fund Supports California During COVID-19 Crisis We wrote a letter as a thank you to all volunteers of California nonprofits, and you can watch it in this video. We love our nonprofit volunteers! You make the world go ’round! Join our mailing list for monthly updates delivered to your email. Newsletter First Name*Last NameEmail* Organization*CommentsThis field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Did you know that in California, if you have one or more employees, you are required by law to have a written Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) in place? In this article, we answer a question often asked by our nonprofit clients, “What is an IIPP, and why do I need one?” What is an IIPP? What is an IIPP? IIPP stands for Injury and Illness Prevention Program. It is simply a written workplace safety program. All employers in California are required to have an IIPP that addresses all 8 key workplace safety objectives that are tailored to your organization’s operations. Why do I Need an IIPP? If you are asking, “Why do I need an IIPP?”, we give two reasons. An effective IIPP improves the health and safety of your workplace and can reduce overall costs. It is also the law! It is important for both employees and management to be involved in the drafting of the IIPP. There are several tools to assist with writing your IIPP – State Fund has released a new IIPP Builder that is available for free to all employers in the state. If you are a State Fund client, you can save it in progress and work on it over time. If you are not a State Fund client, you have to complete the writing in one sitting as a guest and then can download the pdf version for printing and distribution. Cal/OSHA has an e-tool available also – CalOSHA Tool. The Worker Occupational Safety and Health Training and Education Program offers half-day training events to help you with developing your IIPP. You can look up scheduled trainings at WOSHTEP Workshops. Cal/OSHA issues more than 2,000 IIPP- related citations to California employers annually, and they include fines that vary in amount depending on the severity of the violation. If your nonprofit does not have a written IIPP in place, make it a priority! Eight Key Elements of an IIPP CalOSHA requires that organizations include these eight key elements in the written IIPP document: Responsibility – outlines in writing who is responsible for your organization’s workplace safety program, establishing roles and responsibilities. Compliance – establishes safety rules to be followed including a positive recognition and disciplinary programs. Communication – defines the system by which you will communicate the IIPP to staff in a format that is best suited to your employees and workplace culture.Hazard Assessment – outlines in detail the procedures for how to identify which hazards are present in the organization’s work environment. This includes health and safety hazards, unsafe conditions and work practices.Accident/Exposure Investigation – addresses investigation and reporting requirements for employers in order to determine why incidents occurred and methods for preventing future occurrences.Hazard Correction – documents how you will address and correct hazards in a timely manner, and what procedures will be followed to create the safest conditions possible for your employees.Training – discusses how your employees and supervisors will be trained in a language and manner they understand. Recordkeeping – defines your methods for keeping records of safety inspections, safety and health trainings, and reporting of workplace injuries and illnesses. If you have an inspection by CalOSHA, they will review your records. For more information see our previous blog article, New Cal/OSHA Reporting Requirements Highlight Importance Of Workplace Safety. State Fund’s New IIPP Builder Tool Watch this 2-minute Video on State Fund’s new IIPP builder tool! Click here for State Fund’s new IIPP Builder Tool Feel free to contact us or comment below if you have any questions about developing your workplace safety program. We Are Keeping Your Organization Protected During COVID-19 Crises We are well-positioned in assisting you with keeping your organization protected during COVID-19 crises and continuing to deliver services no matter where you may be working. All of our carriers are open and providing services to us and you. Contact Staff via Email All of our staff are working remotely and the best way to contact them is via email. Voicemails are being transcribed to email. Attached is a copy of our staff roster for your convenience. Staff Roster Client Portal We have a client portal that has copies of your policies and other important documents: Client Portal ThinkHR ThinkHR is an excellent resource for ongoing information for employers. As a client and member of CalNonprofits, we give you a free membership ThinkHR Member Login Claims If you have a claim, it is usually fastest to report directly to the insurance carrier. The claims reporting information can be found on the policy – we are happy to help you file your claims or find the correct number if you need assistance. Keeping You Informed We are continually monitoring developments on COVID-19 crises and we will keep you informed if anything changes. Even in these trying times, we strive to provide you the best service possible and we really appreciate your business and your patience. Please stay well and healthy! Photo by NASA on Unsplash As the coronavirus outbreak spreads around the globe, people are asking their brokers and agents, “Does my policy cover a loss caused by Coronavirus (COVID-19)?” They want to know what protections are provided by their insurance policies for losses they might incur if the outbreak reaches pandemic levels. The answer is, “It depends…” A pandemic is a global disease outbreak, even the flu virus can cause a pandemic if a strain arises for which people have little immunity and a vaccine has not yet been developed. Coronavirus is a large family of viruses, MERS and SARS are two other cornoviruses that were previously identified. The World Health Organization has named the current coronavirus outbreak as COVID-19. Every organization should take care to prevent the spread of disease – here is a link to the CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019. Property Insurance Many nonprofits are worried about their loss of income or revenue if they have to shut down due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in their facility, especially those that serve large populations of people such as schools or food banks. However, most standard property policies require that there be direct covered damage (physical loss) to the property to trigger the business interruption coverage. There could be some coverage if a civil authority restricts access to the insured location – but carriers are giving mixed responses when asked. General Liability Insurance General Liability coverage will protect the organization if a third party (client, participant, volunteer) were to claim bodily injury because the organization did not take reasonable precautions to prevent exposure to the virus. Some policies may have exclusions for epidemics or pandemics – so the policy must be carefully reviewed. Proof that your organization was at fault may be difficult for the claimant to provide. Workers’ Compensation If your employee is infected and the infection arises out of the course of employment – they are exposed on the job – then their lost time and medical costs may be covered by Workers’ Compensation insurance. Make sure to document with the carrier immediately if you suspect this to be the case – as soon as you know they were exposed and before they are showing symptoms. Directors & Officers Directors could be held liable for failing to develop contingency plans or failing to observe recommended protocols by impacted third parties. Employees could potentially make claims against the Directors if they feel they were mistreated because they were infected. International Liability/International Workers’ Compensation These policies are nonstandard with manuscripted coverages and have additional exclusions. Each policy should be scrutinized if you think your organization has risk of exposure. Disclaimers Every policy is different, and carriers may respond with new exclusions or policy terms that require timely notice, so it is important to review changes at renewal. Request an analysis below if you would like for us to review your policies and provide a personalized assessment or contact your Producer or Account Manager to schedule a review. Request a Free Analysis Coronavirus Symptoms, Prevention and Treatment CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019: Prevention and Treatment CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019: Symptoms References Coronavirus Raises Insurance Questions But Catastrophe-Tested Insurers Are Prepared Insurance Coverage for Losses Stemming from the Coronavirus Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), February 2020 Photo by Jordan Ladikos on Unsplash Review Your Employer Requirements Is your nonprofit compliant with California State Laws for 2020? Now that the dust has settled from the usually hectic Fourth Quarter and beginning of a new year, it is a good time to review your employer requirements for new as well as existing California laws and make sure your organization is meeting those requirements. We previously published 2020 Updates for California Employers , which is a great resource on where to find more information regarding actions to take as an employer for new and updated California Laws. We recommend you review this article during First Quarter 2020. Access the Information You Need for Your Nonprofit Mission We want you to be able to access the information you need quickly and easily so that you can focus on your nonprofit’s mission. In the table below we provide a general overview of California Laws related to discrimination, leave, healthcare, harassment and injury prevention. Instructions are included in the right column for how to access more information. Our Just the Facts flyers, templates, Healthcare Reform Bulletins, and other educational materials are developed exclusively for our nonprofit clients to make their jobs easier! We also provide discounted access to My Risk Management Plan and My Risk Management Policies through Nonprofit Risk Management Center. Please contact your Account Manager if you would like to set up your Client Portal, to request materials, or if you have any questions. Nonprofit Employer Resources CA Gender Recognition ActMake sure you are complying with gender recognition at your organization. In most cases this means gender options will include female, male, or nonbinary.Log into the Client Portal to view our Just the Facts flyer or contact your Account Manager for a copy.CA Healthcare Coverage Requirement Unless an applicable exemption applies, all state residents must have health coverage or pay a tax. Log into the Client Portal to view our Healthcare Reform Bulletins or contact your Account Manager for a copy. CA Sick Leave LawAll employees in California accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Some specific cities and/or counties, like San Francisco, have more detailed requirements.Log into the Client Portal to view our Just the Facts flyer or contact your Account Manager for a copy or if you need more information on San Francisco or other city/county sick leave requirements. CalSavers Retirement ProgramDepending on the size of your organization, you will be required to offer a workplace retirement plan. Log into the Client Portal to view our Just the Facts flyer or contact your Account Manager for a copy. Cal/OSHA Reporting Requirements (AB 1804 & 1805)Under Assembly Bill 1804 a death, serious injury or serious illness must be reported immediately upon learning of the event by the employer, not by a third party. Serious injury or illness is defined by being admitted for hospitalization, except for testing or observation, and includes loss of limbs.See Blog Articles: New Cal/OSHA Reporting Requirements Highlight Importance of Workplace SafetySlips, Trips, and Falls – Oh My!Ask your Account Manager about free templates: 1) IIPP Template;2) Identified-Reported Hazards and Correction;3) Incident Investigation FormAnd more!Independent Contractor StatusAB5 went into effect on January 1, 2020 and codifies who can and cannot be classified as an independent contractor. This new law has a large impact on nonprofits in CaliforniaLog into the Client Portal to view our Just the Facts flyer or contact your Account Manager for a copy. See Blog Articles:Important Information on Independent Contractors (6/14/2018)UPDATE on Independent Contractors Classification2020 Updates for California EmployersNew Parent Leave Act (NPLA)NPLA provides certain California employees with up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave a year, and requires group health benefits to be maintained during the leave as if employees continued to work instead of taking leave. This leave must be granted to qualifying employees in addition to any Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL). While the leave is “unpaid”, employees can use accrued vacation, sick, and/or other time off (PTO). Log into the Client Portal to view our Just the Facts flyer or contact your Account Manager for a copy.See Blog Article:CA New Parent Leave Act – Are You Ready?Paid Family Leave (PFL)PFL provides employees some compensation to care for specific family members or to bond with a new child. The cost of this benefit is paid by the employee as part of a required payroll deduction (state withholding) and is administered by the Employment Development Department (EDD). Log into the Client Portal to view our Just the Facts flyer or contact your Account Manager for a copy. Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL)For employers with 5 or more employees, PDL provides employees disabled by pregnancy, childbirth, or pregnancy-related conditions with up to four months of unpaid, job-protected leave for each pregnancy Log into the Client Portal to view our Just the Facts flyer or contact your Account Manager for a copy. See Blog Article:CA New Parent Leave Act – Are You Ready?Sexual Harassment Training CAHarassment Prevention Policy California employers with 5 or more employees (including temporary, part-time and full-time) must provide sexual harassment training to all existing employees no later than 1/1/2021. This training must occur every 2 years. All employers in California must have a written harassment prevention policy. Log into the Client Portal to view our Just the Facts flyer or contact your Account Manager for a copy. See Blog Articles:California Sexual Harassment Training Requirement to Expand (10/3/2018) Does Your Nonprofit Have a Plan for the Mandated California Harassment Training (4/22/2019) ALERT: DEADLINE EXTENDED (4/4/2019) Contact your Account Manager for discounted pricing for employees for California Sexual Harassment Training. Supervisors have access to complimentary training courses. Questions? If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our services please reply in the comments below or request a free analysis. Request a Free Analysis Clients of CalNonprofits Insurance Services have access to a host of discounts and special access programs through their membership with CalNonprofits. Did you know you can leverage Membership Perks for your nonprofit mission by saving on your marketing costs? We will show you how! For a general overview of Membership Perks see our blog article, Are You Taking Advantage of Your CalNonprofits Membership Perks. A well planned and executed marketing program will attract more donations and make increase awareness of your cause as you reach a larger audience. Membership Perks for CalNonprofits members offers marketing discount programs through vendors, Great Kolor and Elevation Web Design. Discounts are also available through PurchasingPoint for over 100 vendors, which include printing and other marketing services. Build Recognition in Your Community To build your nonprofit’s name and brand recognition in your community, consider advertising on buses! Great Kolor offers printing and placement of giant ads on buses, train stations, and outdoor kiosks throughout California at affordable advertising rates. In addition, the consulting fee is waved for CalNonprofits members! You can complete a free needs assessment and schedule a consultation to learn more about their services and pricing. Refresh Your Website or Build a New One! Do you need to improve your nonprofit’s website or are you planning a complete overhaul? Elevation is a leading digital design agency that works with nonprofits. They provide website design, branding, and digital marketing tools. Elevation offers a 1 for 1 match grant plus 10% discount off project costs for CalNonprofit members through the Membership Perks program. Google AdWord Grant Elevation is a Certified Professional of Google and can help you through the entire process of applying for a Google for Nonprofits account and applying for a Google AdWord Grant if you are an eligible 501(c)3 organization (see brochure for all eligibility requirements). The AdWord Grant provides $10,000 in-kind Ad Grants advertising with Google each and every month indefinitely, provided you continue to meet eligibility requirements and remain in good standing. Download Elevation’s brochure below for more information visit the Google for Nonprofits website. Please note the Google AdWord Grant is not part of the CalNonprofits Membership Perks program and may not be suitable for all nonprofit organizations. Elevation Google Grant Service Google for Nonprofits Website Save Thousands of Dollars Each Year through PurchasingPoint is a valuable Membership Perk that could save you up to an average 30% on everyday goods and services. With over 100 vendors in the program, you may already be making purchases from vendors who are in the PurchasingPoint program. Make sure you are receiving those discounts! For your nonprofit marketing, you can receive discounts on promotional products, branded apparel, screen printing, signage, media services, publishing, and more. To view these vendors go to Browse Vendors on the PurchasingPoint website and click on the Specialty vendor category. To see all vendor discounts available download the PurchasingPoint Flyer. While most PurchasingPoint discounts are for members of CalNonprofits, staff and volunteers of members can also take advantage of some discounts for fun activities outside the office. They can get discounts for hotels, rentals cars, and even home maintenance supplies! After you have registered your nonprofit with Purchasing Point, you can request a Staff Benefits brochure from PurchasingPoint to distribute to your employees and volunteers. PurchasingPoint Flyer Register at calnonprofits.purchasingpoint.com More Membership Perks for Your Nonprofit Don’t forget that Membership Perks also gives you access to ThinkHR, half-price job postings, special pricing for background checks, discounted credit card fees, and so much more! Leverage these discounts and resources so you can direct more dollars toward your nonprofit mission. If you have any questions please comment below, email email@example.com, or contact your dedicated Account Manager. Learn more about becoming a member of CalNonprofits here. Desiree Foster, Accountant, is part of our Shared Services Team with the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits). She helps with COBRA and the accounting for the Nonprofit Benefits Trust. She is pictured below in front of our beautiful flower wall created by Sonia Swain. Desiree has been with us for 2.83 years. She knows exactly how long, to the decimal point. Lucky for us she is so exact … we know we are in good hands! When asked what she likes most about working at CalNonprofits Insurance Services she said, “my coworkers and how we are committed to helping each other and our clients to achieve our goals 😊”. The flower wall was created by Sonia Swain to motivate and inspire anyone who walks by. We also have an inspiring quote on the wall that we encourage employees to participate in updating weekly. The current quote is “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud”, by Maya Angelou. To learn more about working with us and available positions visit our Careers page.