NOVEMBER 9, 2016: California employers have been dealing with the ramifications of legal marijuana for years. Now that voters have passed Proposition 64, legalizing so-called “recreational” marijuana use, employers face a new reality of potentially outdated workplace policies, employee accommodation and the applicability of drug-free workplace guidelines. Workers’ compensation carriers and self-insured employers in particular must begin to consider the impact that Proposition 64 may have on claims processing.
Read the full report from California Workers’ Compensation Institute
JUNE 14, 2016: The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) announces that the 2017 minimum and maximum temporary total disability (TTD) rates will increase on January 1, 2017. The minimum TTD rate will increase from $169.26 to $175.88 and the maximum TTD rate will increase from $1,128.43 to $1,172.57 per week.
Labor Code section 4453(a) (10) requires the rate for TTD be increased by an amount equal to percentage increase in the State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) as compared to the prior year. The SAWW is defined as the average weekly wage paid to employees covered by unemployment insurance as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor for California for the 12 months ending March 31 in the year preceding the injury. In the 12 months ending March 31, 2016, the SAWW increased from $1,120.67 to $1,164.51—an increase of just under 3.912 percent.
Under Labor Code section 4659(c), workers with a date of injury on or after Jan. 1, 2003 who are receiving life pensions (LP) or permanent total disability (PTD) benefits are also entitled to have their weekly LP or PTD rate adjusted based on the SAWW.
The first quarter 2015 SAWW figures may be verified at the U.S. Department of Labor website, as can the first quarter 2016 SAWW figures.
California Department of Industrial Relations, established in 1927, protects and improves the health, safety, and economic well-being of over 18 million wage earners, and helps their employers comply with state labor laws. DIR is housed within the Labor & Workforce Development Agency.
WCIRB WIRE ALERT • APRIL 11, 2016: Today, the WCIRB submitted a July 1, 2016 Pure Premium Rate Filing to the California Department of Insurance (CDI) proposing advisory pure premium rates that average $2.30 per $100 of payroll effective July 1, 2016. The average proposed advisory pure premium rate is 10.4% lower than the corresponding industry average filed pure premium rate of $2.57 as of January 1, 2016 and 5.0% less than the Insurance Commissioner’s approved average January 1, 2016 advisory pure premium rate of $2.42.
In the Executive Summary of the Filing, the WCIRB highlights the reduction in frequency, lower medical severity and favorable loss development as primary drivers of the proposed decrease, but cautioned that higher loss adjustment expenses, a sharp rise in lien filings and increases in the number of cumulative injury claims are continuing to exert upward pressure on system costs.
The Filing and all related documents are available in the Publications and Filings section of the WCIRB website. The CDI will schedule a public hearing to consider the Filing. Once the Notice of Proposed Action and Notice of Public Hearing is issued, the WCIRB will post a copy on its website and issue a Wire Story.
July 1, 2016 Pure Premium Rate Filing