Vigilant Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law, HR, safety & workers' comp

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Photo of Kandis Sells
Apr 01 2021
Leave Laws  

WASHINGTON: Paid Family & Medical Leave benefits increase in 2021

Heads up, Washington employers: the maximum weekly benefit for the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program has increased from $1,000 to $1,206 as of January 1, 2021. Each September, the Employment Security Department (ESD) is required to adjust the maximum weekly benefit amount for the following calendar year to 90…

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Photo of Kara Craig
Apr 01 2021
Harassment & DiscriminationWage and Hour  

Ninth Circuit applies broad standard for equal work

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that differences in pay for men and women in jobs that share a “common core of tasks” may trigger liability under the federal Equal Pay Act (EPA) and a similar Oregon state law that was in effect until January 1, 2019. A female…

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Photo of Manish Gooneratne
Mar 30 2021
Featured Worker’s CompSafety and HealthWorkers’ Comp  

Pssst! The secret to lowering workers’ comp premiums

Dear Washington Manufacturer: Lowering workers’ compensation costs is a desire I hear from most of the companies I work with in Washington State. There are a lot of steps a company can take to do this that require sophisticated data analytics as well as the ability to interpret and put them into…

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Photo of Dan Beaty
Mar 25 2021
Featured Worker’s CompWorkers’ Comp  

Kept-On-Salary Mandates: There’s an alternative

Lately I’ve received a lot of questions about Vigilant’s perspective on Kept-On-Salary mandates. Here’s where we stand: We oppose KOS Mandates Our fundamental objection to KOS mandates is that they ALWAYS benefit a group retro program and its association sponsor, but do NOT ALWAYS best serve the individual member companies that are paying for it. In…

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Photo of Karen Davis
Mar 22 2021
COVID-19Leave LawsWage and Hour  

CALIFORNIA: COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave expands

On March 19, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a new law that requires employers with 26 or more employees to provide up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL) if a California employee is unable to work for reasons related to COVID-19 (coronavirus). The 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental…

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Photo of Karen Davis
Mar 18 2021
COVID-19DisabilityEmployee BenefitsHarassment & DiscriminationLeave Laws  

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 impacts benefits, leaves, and more

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), the latest COVID-19 relief bill, offers a 100 percent COBRA subsidy and expands eligibility for paid leave tax credits, among other provisions. The bill was signed by President Biden on March 11, 2021. COBRA subsidy: Employees who lose employer-sponsored group health insurance coverage…

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Photo of April Uzzardo
Mar 18 2021
COVID-19DisabilityHarassment & Discrimination  

CALIFORNIA: DFEH addresses mandatory COVID-19 vaccination

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) released updated employment guidance related to COVID-19 (coronavirus) on March 4, 2021, including mandatory vaccination policies. DFEH Employment Information on COVID-19 replaces previous guidance issued March 20, 2020 and July 24, 2020. The DFEH says you may implement mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies…

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Photo of Jackie Marks
Mar 18 2021
COVID-19Employee Benefits  

EBSA continues relief for employee benefit plans due to COVID-19

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has issued EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01, which provides guidance on continuation of relief for employee benefit plans and plan participants and beneficiaries due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. This “outbreak period,” which began on March 1, 2020, will end 60 days after the…

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Photo of Dan Beaty
Mar 16 2021
Featured Worker’s CompWorkers’ Comp  

Accurately forecasting workers’ comp premium

Washington Manufacturers: On my daughter’s 7th birthday she was gifted a Magic 8-ball. You know, the one with the blue liquid that you shake and it magically answers whatever question you’ve asked. Often the response would be a non-committal answer like “Ask Again Later” or “Cannot Predict Now.” Feverishly, she would ask the question again, shake it…

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Photo of Dan Beaty
Mar 09 2021
Featured Worker’s CompWorkers’ Comp  

Advocacy with L&I is critical to success

Washington Manufacturer: Who do you contact within Labor & Industries (L&I) to help you with a difficult workers’ compensation claim issue? Who is advocating for your interests with the Department? Not knowing where to start and how to be impactful can be overwhelming, frustrating, and even demoralizing. Just as the company you keep is…

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