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California Supreme Court Rules On-call and Sleep Periods Considered “Hours Worked”

“Hours worked” under California law includes all hours an employee is under an employer’s control, even when the employee is not actively engaged in carrying out job duties.

On Jan. 8, 2015, in Mendiola v. CPS Security Solutions, Inc., the California Supreme Court reaffirmed that “hours worked” under California law include all hours an employee is under an employer’s control, even when the employee is not actively engaged in carrying out job duties. The Supreme Court held that sleep periods during which an employee is on-call cannot be excluded from hours worked by an agreement between employers and their employees.

Filed under: Workers' Compensation — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 6:47 pm February 23, 2015

25 Most Commonly Stolen Passwords

How clever is your password? If it’s on the list below, your password is just as easily stolen as it is remembered. Protect yourself by making sure you’re not using one of the top 25 most commonly stolen passwords of 2014, as determined by IT security firm SplashData.

To create a more secure password, make sure you are not relying only on numbers, and try to avoid simple keyboard patterns. You may also want to avoid easy-to-find information such as birthdays, favorite sports teams and addresses. Attempt to create a password that is eight or more letters long, and avoid using the same password for multiple access points.

1. 123456
2. password
3. 12345
4. 12345678
5. qwerty
6. 1234567890
7. 1234
8. baseball
9. dragon
10. football
11. 1234567
12. Monkey
13. letmein
14. access
15. abc123
16. 111111
17. mustang
18. shadow
19. master
20. michael
21. superman
22. 696969
23. 123123
24. batman
25. trustno1

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 6:21 pm

Increase Your Cyber Security in 2015

Based on the number of incidents, 2014 could be considered the “Year of the Data Breach.” But in 2015, even more businesses could end up falling victim to a breach, so you should stop considering a data breach as a possibility and recognize it as an expectation—and take the right steps to protect your company’s data.

Here are four things to focus on to increase your cyber security in 2015:

  1. Use multiple proactive defenses: Relying only on your antivirus protection or firewall is not enough anymore. You may need to start from the beginning to create a multi-layered approach to ensure that all your data and every device used in your network is protected.
    1. Protect your data: Control who can access certain information by creating different levels of access based on a user’s role within your company.
    2. Consider two-factor authentication: This security step helps prevent a hacker from using stolen or shared credentials against you. This can also be an effective layer in your multi-layered approach.
    3. Work with your security measures: Stringent security measures can negatively affect user productivity if it impedes users’ freedom and flexibility.

    This year, be proactive about your cyber security. The best way to combat a data breach is to be ready and prevent it before it happens.

Filed under: Cyber Liability — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 6:12 pm

Top 5 Workers’ Comp Injury Types

Data recently collected from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Academy of Social Insurance shows that 65 percent of workers’ compensation costs can be traced to five common workplace injuries. By knowing the top five injury types, employers can target those injuries and take action to prevent them.

According to the data, the following are the top five injury types:

  1. Overexertion injuries which are caused by pushing, pulling, carrying, holding or throwing.
  2. Falls on the same level that may happen for a variety of reasons, such as a wet floor or a tripping hazard.
  3. Being struck by equipment or an object, or even a vehicle. These injuries are common in the construction industry.
  4. Falls to a lower level, which can be prevented by using proper fall protection, ladder safety or scaffolding.
  5. Other exertions or bodily reactions, which can cause strains and sprains.

A safe workplace and injury prevention are vital to keeping your workers’ compensation costs down. If your company has an increased number of claims compared to previous years, this can directly affect your experience modification factor (also known as your mod factor) and increase your workers’ compensation premium. On the other hand, decreasing your number of claims can lower your mod factor and your premium.

For more information on workplace safety, including implementing or updating a safety program in your workplace, contact Warren G. Bender Co. at (916) 380-5300. We have the tools to help you take control of your workers’ compensation costs.

Filed under: Workers' Compensation — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 6:04 pm