Archive for December, 2009

In Comments to GINA Rule, GPPC Tries to Clarify Debate Around ‘Underwriting’ for Wellness Programs

  • 31st December 2009

In Comments to GINA Rule, GPPC Tries to Clarify Debate Around ‘Underwriting’ for Wellness Programs

 

Amid ongoing debate that the definition of “underwriting” in the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act is too broad and might jeopardize enrollment in disease management programs, Johns Hopkins University’s Genetics & Public Policy Center has issued commentary to help health plans and employers parse the complexities of implementing the law.

Transforming Your Safety Culture

  • 29th December 2009

Get your firm OSHA compliant for 2010 HERE.

Transforming Your Safety Culture

Many businesses that attempt to use lean techniques in their business often find employees reluctant to embrace changes. However, author Robert Hafey of “Lean Safety, Transforming Your Safety Culture with Lean Management” says a lean safety program can not only improve your company’s safety record, but also help workers accept lean in your company. Here, he talks about his book and offers insight on how a lean safety program works.

Don’t Overlook Federal and State Data Regulations

  • 28th December 2009

Get your firm compliant for 2010 here.

Tracking new regulations and compliance rulings from federal and state government can be dizzying—they include FRCP, HIPAA, GLB, and more. But now more than ever, the government expects all businesses to comply, not just large corporations.

Today, every company is responsible for its data and for securing its customers’ information, no matter how much it costs to do so. In today’s litigious business world, the possibility of being dragged into a lawsuit is very real, and if that happens, you will likely need to make your information available to the process. And woe to the company that cannot comply with basic regulations, because a judge will not accept that you thought those requirements applied only to the big companies.

A good example is a recent investigation involving Freddie Mac. A small agency working with Freddie Mac was pulled into the investigation, and the agency had to complete a request by the government for an electronic discovery search. The agency assumed the cost would be minor, but it did not have an automated approach to managing its data in place. The inaccessibility of the data required an army of attorneys and staff to perform a hands-on physical review. The cost came to $6 million. When the agency sought relief, it was turned down by an appeals court. It should have known better.

So here are some first steps to avoid future problems:

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-12-27

  • 27th December 2009
  • Beginning Steps toward a Regulatory Reform Agenda: Regulatory News in 2009http://www.osha4less.com/wordpress/ #
  • Federal OSHA Officials Prepare for Active Role in Nevada OSHA Overhaul
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  • (OSHA) has had its eyes on the Las Vegas Strip since last yearhttp://www.osha4less.com/wordpress/ #
  • Reforming the Process. Obama promptly sought to reform the regulatory processhttp://www.osha4less.com/wordpress/ #
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  • COBRA health coverage, subsidies are expanded
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  • Just the holiday gift many wanted: A COBRA subsidy extension http://www.osha4less.com/wordpress/?p=53 #

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Just the holiday gift many wanted: A COBRA subsidy extension

  • 24th December 2009

Just the holiday gift many wanted: A COBRA subsidy extension

Santa couldn’t have done better.

Millions of Americans got a great gift when Congress passed and President Obama signed a defense spending bill that includes a provision to extend a subsidy helping those out of work continue their health insurance coverage.

In February, Congress established the subsidy under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, commonly referred to as COBRA.

Under COBRA, former employees can continue to get health coverage at their former employer’s group rates. But they have to pay the full premium — including the share that the employer used to pay — plus a 2 percent administrative fee.

COBRA health coverage, subsidies are expanded

  • 23rd December 2009

Get your firm OSHA compliant for 2010 here.

COBRA health coverage, subsidies are expanded

Thousands of unemployed workers won’t have to worry about starting the new year without health insurance.President Obama has signed legislation that will allow laid-off workers to receive subsidized COBRA premiums for up to 15 months. Previously, the subsidy expired after nine months.

The extension, included in a defense spending bill approved by Congress over the weekend, also extended the cutoff for eligibility for the COBRA subsidy to Feb. 28, 2010, from Dec. 31.

EEOC proposes changes to federal discrimination complaint process

  • 22nd December 2009

 

GET OSHA COMPLIANT FOR 2010 HERE.

 

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission this week unveiled a wide range of changes to how discrimination complaints in federal agencies are filed, processed and decided.

The recommendations were the product of an internal agency working group, led by acting EEOC Chairman Stuart Ishimaru, and inspired by a 2002 public meeting held to solicit suggestions for improving the EEO complaint process.

Peggy Mastroianni, EEOC’s deputy legal counsel, said the working group decided to proceed with incremental changes that would update the complaints process and make agencies more aware of their responsibilities.

Federal OSHA Officials Prepare for Active Role in Nevada OSHA Overhaul

  • 21st December 2009

“Lax construction oversight has left the Federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) no choice but to intervene in Nevada, where 25 workers died in an 18-month span on the Vegas Strip.”

The Federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has had its eyes on the Las Vegas Strip since last year, when a sudden increase in construction worker deaths raised questions of safety at sites like the City Center.

Instead of abating, the death toll continued to rise. From January 2008 to June 2009, 25 workers lost their lives — a price to pay for Las Vegas’ frenzied expansion.

In October, OSHA’s federal office released a condemning report on the state of construction in Nevada, including extreme deficiencies on the part of Nevada’s OSHA program.

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