Preventing Workplace Violence

As reports of shootings and other violent incidents become more common, workplace violence is a topic than no business can ignore. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace homicides rose 2 percent in 2015, the latest year for which data is available. Additionally, the number of workplace shootings increased by 15 percent.

The best way to address potential acts of violence at your business is to be prepared to act before, during and after an act of violence occurs. Here are some programs you can use to ensure the safety of your employees and customers:

• Pre-employment screenings—Background checks can help identify candidates who have violent histories.
• Security—Security systems can ensure that only employees have access to certain areas.
• Alternative dispute resolutions—Techniques like facilitation and mediation can help solve a conflict before it escalates.
• Threat assessment teams—A designated team can work with management to assess the potential for violence and develop an action plan.

Stay tuned for ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) Training available through WGBCO. Classes and training will be announced in August, 2017!

Filed under: Recent Headlines,Safety — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 6:26 pm July 12, 2017

Eskaton Foundation Names Stephen Bender CEO of the Year

Stephen Bender, President and CEO of the Warren G. Bender Co., was recently named CEO of the Year at an Eskaton Foundation gala attended by more 300 executives. The annual Eskaton Foundation Celebration of CEOs was held at a Crocker Road estate in Sacramento, CA.

Using the criteria of “Community-minded, Engaged, and One-of-a-Kind,” the selection committee selected Bender, one of the region’s most esteemed CEO’s, because of his longstanding belief in giving back, his engagement in the community, and his one-of-a-kind spirit. “I can’t think of anyone more passionate about the value of philanthropy in this community. He is empowering, and his endearing demeanor is contagious and commands respect,” said Kim Rhinehelder, President of Eskaton Foundation. “He is always the first to pick up the phone to say ‘Good job.’ We’re lucky Stephen is part of this community.”

Founded in 1938 by Warren G. Bender, the family-owned business prides itself on the simple foundation of honesty and integrity. Stephen Bender joined the company in 1972, became President in 1986, then CEO in 2003. As CEO, he is dedicated to instituting the founding values of the Warren G. Bender Co. and achieving the vision set forth by its owners and employees: To be the finest, independent, locally owned insurance and risk management brokerage in its marketing region, serving the best interests of its clients and communities.

Guests at the Eskaton Foundation event explored information tables that showcased the foundation’s programs and services. Rob Stewart, KVIE’s Rob on the Road producer and host, addressed the audience with his light humor and belief that seniors matter. “Serving as the keynote for this outstanding organization, especially because their mission serves seniors, was important to me,” said Stewart. “Seniors are the strongest generation, yet often forgotten, and if I can be a change-agent, I’m happy to do so.”

Eskaton Foundation’s Philanthropic Partner Program creates meaningful partnerships with companies that help reach target audiences, engage employees through volunteerism and deepen relationships with customers while meeting corporate citizenship goals.

About Eskaton Foundation
Eskaton Foundation believes that seniors are visible, not invisible. It believes that seniors can grow older and bolder as they age. With only 2% of all giving in the United States directed towards senior causes, Eskaton Foundation is aiming to change that. It believes seniors matter. For more information, please call (916) 334-0810, or visit

The full article can be found at

Filed under: Recent Headlines — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 6:03 pm June 28, 2017

New Executive Order Aims to Improve Cyber Security

President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order to improve the country’s cyber security and protect key infrastructure from cyber attacks. The order also emphasized the importance of strengthening the cyber security of federal agencies. According to a survey from Thales Group, a cyber security company, 34 percent of federal agencies experienced a data breach in the last year, and 95 percent of agencies consider themselves vulnerable to cyber attacks.

The executive order did not create any ongoing cyber security requirements, but instead laid out goals to assess the current state of cyber defenses and develop deterrence strategies. Here are some of the requirements of the executive order:

• Federal agencies must draft reports on their ability to defend themselves against cyber threats.
• The departments of Energy and Homeland Security must assess potential vulnerabilities to the country’s electrical grids. The executive order specifically mentions that prolonged power outages could pose a threat to national security or damage the economy.
• Various federal agencies must review the cyber defense plans of U.S. allies in order to cooperate during international cyber attacks.

Filed under: Cyber Liability,Recent Headlines — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 4:37 pm June 1, 2017

President Trump Overturns OSHA’s Ongoing Recordkeeping Rule

President Donald Trump recently signed a resolution that overturned a final recordkeeping rule from OSHA. According to the agency, the rule was meant to clarify that employers must maintain work-related injury and illness records throughout a five-year storage period, and did not create any additional requirements. However, critics of the rule argued that it allowed OSHA to unlawfully issue citations to businesses up to five years after an incident, provided the violation was related to recordkeeping.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) that governs OSHA does not allow for a citation to be issued more than six months after the occurrence of a violation. Despite this, OSHA’s final rule stated that the agency considers all recordkeeping violations to exist until they are corrected. For example, if a recordkeeping violation first began on Feb. 1 and was corrected on May 15, OSHA would have had until Nov. 15 to issue a citation under its final rule.

This development is the latest step in the Trump administration’s efforts to reduce regulatory burdens on businesses. Since Trump took office, OSHA has delayed its new beryllium exposure rule until May 20, and has also announced that it is currently not ready to accept electronic injury and illness data for its electronic reporting rule. However, you still need to be aware of your ongoing OSHA requirements. Although OSHA’s recordkeeping rule has been rescinded, employers are still required to maintain their injury and illness records for five years. Contact us at (916) 380-5300 for help staying in compliance with OSHA standards.

Filed under: OSHA,Recent Headlines — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 11:10 pm May 22, 2017

Work Visa Program Under Federal Review

The Trump administration has ordered a review of the H-1B visa program, which allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in positions that require specialized knowledge. Although the review will not change existing rules for the visas, the Trump administration has expressed interest in changing the approval process from a lottery to a merit-based system.

Currently, H-1B visas are used mainly by technology companies to fill roles that require an extensive background in science, engineering or computer programming. However, critics of the program believe that it’s also used by outsourcing firms to flood the system with applications for lower-paid information positions, which takes work away from Americans.

The Trump administration has yet to set a timeline for changes to the H1-B program. However, Trump has stated that the visas should only go to the most skilled and highest-paid foreign applicants, and never be used to replace Americans.

Filed under: Recent Headlines — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 11:10 pm May 17, 2017