The article below discusses the serious consequences that have recently developed in California resulting from a court decision that may significantly impact the ability of California nonprofits to conduct in-depth and meaningful background checks of potential employees that may be required by other laws. We don’t provide a conclusive answer because the situation is still in flux, but offer you background and possible considerations.
During the current hard insurance market, defined as a market with increasing insurance rates and decreased availability of coverage, nonprofits are finding that coverage provided by commercial carriers is not consistent, affordable, or appropriate.
Furthermore, nonprofits’ contracts require certain types of coverages and policy limits, such as sexual abuse liability coverage, so when commercial insurance companies no longer offer the coverage policies nonprofits need, it can leave them in violation of contract terms with federal, state, and local municipalities.
The few commercial insurance companies that have provided sexual abuse liability coverage to community-based nonprofit organizations in the past are currently in a fit of angst about the extension of statutes of limitations that grant victims of sexual abuse an expanded window in which to bring their claims into court. This is what’s known as “social inflation” in the insurance industry.
For the past few years, many commercial carriers have opted not to renew existing sexual abuse and molestation coverage for nonprofits — and sometimes the complete package of insurance as well. Most other carriers have been lowering the limits of coverage they will offer and imposing large, self-insured retentions and significant premium increases.
Some insurers have even abandoned the social service market completely, citing the impact of these new laws. Are these actions justified based on evidence of more frequent sexual abuse claims against community-based nonprofits?
The answer is no.
Over the course of the past 10 years, the frequency of sexual abuse claims emanating from community-based nonprofits has not changed, despite changes to the laws providing more opportunity for claims to be brought.
Navigating the ever-changing COVID-19 safety rules has been a compliance nightmare for employers.
Now, hopefully, there will be some certainty for larger employers and those in the healthcare industry as the legality of the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccine and “vaccinate or test” mandates will finally be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
At issue are two separate orders:
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), which applies to employers with over 100 workers.
- The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) healthcare mandate, which is specific to the healthcare industry.
While OSHA’s ETS gives employers the option to test unvaccinated employees for COVID-19, the CMS mandate does not allow for a testing option and requires a vaccination for all covered workers.
While prior courts had issued a nationwide stay on the enforcement of the OSHA ETS, on December 17, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed course and dissolved the stay, clearing OSHA to enforce the ETS across the country.
Nonprofits Insurance Alliance (NIA) and Alta California Regional Center (ACRC) have something in common. Each nonprofit is helping thousands meet their mission, whether as an organization or an individual.
A well-qualified applicant applies for a job at a nonprofit and lands an in-person interview. The applicant explains that their service dog will accompany them. The hiring manager is left with questions: Does the manager have to agree? Does this entail agreeing to permit the service dog in the workplace if the applicant is hired? Can the manager ask the applicant about the service dog in the interview? The manager just doesn’t know how to handle the situation, reasoning that avoidance is the least risky approach.