and Insurance Management Society, Inc.
Los Angeles Chapter
L.A. RIMS NEWS
The newsletter for
Risk and Insurance Management Professionals
RIMS News October 2003
years have passed since 9/11. How many changes to society have occurred
since that day? How has your life changed since that day? It seems we
have more on our minds now since that fateful day: When will the troops
return? Where is Osama bin Laden? Will al-Quaida attack again? When?
Is America safer now? How can I protect my family? Am I more securely
protected at work and home than I was two years ago? Is there more that I
can do to help?
us have flown in airplanes since 9/11 and some have completely avoided
flying. The 9/11 attacks on America still terrorizes us to the point of
changing our lifestyles in some cases. Remember when security screening
at the airport was bothersome and considered another hassle to deal with
at the airport? Now we welcome the extensive screening and gladly take
off our shoes when asked. Our opinions have changed since 9/11 because we
all want to be safer.
remember when security officers and those needing cardkeys were the only
ones who wore employment ID badges. If you forgot your badge for work,
who cares? Now I'm wearing three ID badges and rank it higher than having
a driver's license. Visitors to my building use to be greeted by a
receptionist/gift shop entrepreneur. Visitors are now greeted by a
security guard, then empty their pockets and walk through a screening
device, and escorted through the building. Our workplaces have changed
since 9/11 because we all want to be safer.
adults, we are all seeing changes since 9/11. What do the children see or
remember or do they even notice? My kids know that enemies destroyed two
tall buildings, but they don't know who the enemies are or why they did
it. Do the children know how many lives were lost? My son knows that his
friend's grandfather died in one of the planes. The kids may not see or
understand the grand effect it has had on society but only how it has
personally affected their lives. The security issues in society may go
unnoticed to kids because they have already become accustomed to them. As
adults, we are still trying to get use to them, and are constantly
reminded of that fateful day.
to continue moving forward, we must continue to protect society in any way
we can. If we allow the memory to restrict the way we choose to live,
then we are still being terrorized, and the terrorists have succeeded.
However, if we can be aware and work with society's changes, we will
overcome our fears and soon we will be accustomed, like our children, to
time to become involved or aware of your company's emergency preparedness
program. Overcome the fear factor by being prepared at work. Perhaps you
can make a safer working environment for you and your co-workers. Take it
a step further and bring this knowledge to your home. Then ask yourself,
"Am I more securely protected at work and home than I was two years ago?"
Your confident and fearless response will be, "Yes!"
Please note: All
interested applicants must complete an Official City Application and
supplemental application and return them to our office by 10/03/03. Please
visit our website for a complete job bulletin, application and supplemental
No Relocation available.
Under the general direction of the
Director of Finance and Administrative Services, this management position
performs managerial, administrative and professional risk management work
consisting of risk identification, risk control, risk financing, claims
administration and accident prevention. Essential job functions include,
but are not limited to: Plans, develops, implements, coordinates and
monitors the City's risk management/loss prevention program in the areas of
Workers' Compensation, safety, liability claims and insurance procurement.
If you would like to
submit articles for the monthly
newsletter, please note that articles must be received by the 15th
of each month. Submit articles to
Risk and Insurance
Los Angeles Chapter
Education Day is October 15, 2003 at the New Otani Hotel, Los Angeles. It
will start at 8:00a.m.-1:30p.m. Our Speakers will include: Steve
Wilder, The Walt Disney Company, Alexandra Glickman, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.,
Daniel McGarvey, Marsh-North Carolina, Marty Zisner, City of Los Angeles.
Our Keynote speaker is David Mair, Former U.S. Olympics Risk Manager, Former
RIMS National President.
Canned Food Drive & Toys for
Don't forget to bring a can of food for the canned food drive at the November
19th meeting, and don't forget to bring a toy for Toys for Tots at the
December 10th holiday party.
Improve Your E-Mail
All of us use email but are we
getting lazy when we use it? Here are the best ways
to improve and send professional email:
Don't omit the subject line. Why would I open your
email if I don't know what it's about, especially if I'm short on time?
Make the subject line meaningful. It should reflect the
reason for your email.
When responding, change the subject line to correspond
to the subject. How many times have you exchanged an email that had a subject
line that you finished discussing six emails ago?
Include a greeting in your email. It's still cool to be
Watch your tone and put yourself in the other person's
place. Did you know that using all capital letters or boldface makes your
email appear as if you are shouting?
Check spelling and grammar.
Keep your message short. Who has time to read War
Don't forward email without permission.
Think no one else will see your email? Think again.
Reconsider sending personal information or gossip by email.
Don't leave off your signature. Including your phone
number might be appropriate in case the reader wants to discuss the topic by
phone instead of email.
Don't expect an instant response. I have ten other
emails I just received that need a response too.
Enter the "To" information last to avoid accidentally
sending an email before it is finished.
Cell Phones and
far, only New York has a hand-held cell phone ban for all drivers. But as
of June 2003, 10 states have legislation
pending on hand-held cell phones for all drivers, according to the Governors
Highway Safety Association. Those states are Alabama, California,
Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania
and Rhode Island. Wisconsin has a complete cell phone ban pending.
New Jersey and Massachusetts have hand-held and complete cell phone bans
pending. Six states have bans against school bus drivers using cell
phones, including Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Massachusetts, Tennessee and
Rhode Island. Maine has a ban on teen drivers using cell phones.
(Source: National Safety Council Safe Driver August 2003)
Upcoming Workshops in Southern California
and Insurance Management Society, Inc. presents
Upcoming Workshops in Southern California-RIMS
Registration is now
being accepted for the following programs
"Enterprise Risk Management" October 9-10,
2003 - Costa Mesa (Orange County)
A RIMS Fellow Workshop
Join us and learn to apply the ERM process to your
organization, and gain an expanded view of managing organizational risks.
Credit to be given for the RIMS Fellow designation.
For details and registration information, visit:
"Techniques of Risk Management" October 20-21,
2003 - San Diego
Both theoretical and practical, this course delves into a
broad spectrum of risk management topics- including a focus on the entire
risk management process. A special RIMS member rate will be given.
For details and registration information, visit:
additional information please contact the Professional Development
Department by telephone at 212.655.6212 or e-mail at
Press not permitted, but separate interviews may be arranged by e-mailing email@example.com.
High Court Says States Must Comply
with Family Leave Act
Supreme Court has ruled that state employees may recover money damages in the
event of the state's failure to comply with the federal Family and Medical Leave
Act's (FMLA) family care provision. The case involved William Hibbs, a
social worker for the Nevada Department of Human Resources. Hibbs, who
took time off to care for his wife after she was nearly killed in an automobile
accident, was fired during his leave for failing to return to the job.
his rights under FMLA were violated. The state claimed that, on
constitutional grounds, it could not be sued under the federal act, but the
Supreme Court determined that states could be sued under FMLA's family care
provision. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the decision "makes
clear that eligible state employees can sue to obtain relief when they are not
granted the FMLA protection to care for covered family members with serious
health conditions just as eligible employees working for covered employees in
the private sector can."
FMLA grants eligible employees up to a total of 12
work weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the
The birth and
care of the employee's newborn child
the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care
To care for an
immediate family member with a serious health condition
employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition
California Workers' Compensation Reform Legislation
By Ruth Lindstrom Legislation & Compliance
The California Legislature
passed Assembly Bill 227 and Senate Bill 228, which contain workers'
compensation reforms. The authors of the legislation have claimed that the
reforms provide $5.3 billion in one-time savings and $6 billion in on-going
savings. However, the Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) has
estimated that the one-time savings are $3.5 billion and $2.6 billion in
on-going savings. The major reforms of the legislation are as follows:
of Vocational Rehabilitation (for injuries occurring on or after January 1,
2004) - replaced by a voucher system to allow for retraining in a state
accredited retraining program. The cost of the voucher will be based on the
Permanent Disability rating.
of medical treatment controls and utilization review
oLimits the number of physical therapy and
chiropractic treatments to 24 per claim
review systems will be based on the American College of Occupational and
Environmental Medicine Medical Practice Guidelines
the presumption of correctness of the treating physician (except for
employee pre-designated physicians) regarding scope and extent of medical
in the medical fee schedule
The California's workers
compensation system is currently estimated to cost employers $29 billion. In
1995, the cost was $9 billion. Hence, the estimated one-time savings of $3.5
billion and $2.6 billion in on-going savings represents a modest reform of the
workers compensation system.
The workers' compensation
reform legislation did not come easily and there was all-out lobbying efforts by
the interested groups - doctors, chiropractors, pharmaceutical companies,
employers, attorneys and labor unions.
It is important to
highlight the efforts of one employer coalition, the California Coalition on
Workers' Compensation (CCWC). Its Chair is Tim East, Director of Risk
Management for The Walt Disney Company. The CCWC is the largest statewide
coalition of employers, public and private, dedicated solely to workers'
compensation reform. The CCWC was very involved in offering reform proposals to
the Insurance Commissioner and various Legislators.
As Legislation & Compliance
Director of the LA RIMS Chapter, I met recently with Tim to get his assessment
on this legislation. He indicated that the legislation is a good start for
reform and given the lower estimates provided by the WCIRB, can lay the
groundwork for obtaining more comprehensive reforms for next year. Tim
described the legislation as addressing only the medical component of the
workers' compensation claim and not the indemnity component and specifically,
the inflated permanent disability ratings. "One-half of all lost time cases
have permanent disability ratings," he said. Some degree of permanent
disability is found more often in California than in any other state.
Tightening the permanent disability eligibility would address a major cost
driver in the California workers' compensation system. It is important to note
that attorneys are paid their legal fees from the permanent disability payments
and therefore, have an incentive to obtain higher permanent disability ratings
for the claimant.
Tim also advised that there
will probably be clean-up legislation and there may be legal challenges to the
reform legislation. When asked about a long-term lobbying strategy for keeping
the workers' compensation reform process going, he provided the following
Unite and stay active
in the process;
Take advantage of what
reforms and court decisions offer.
The challenges of
maintaining the reforms and keeping the cause going are significant. Those
interested groups who want to keep the system costs high can raise large amounts
of money and within a very short period of time. Employer coalition groups thus
far, have not demonstrated the same capability. Given the $29 billion cost of
the system, it is important to continue the lobbying effort for reform and/or
redesign of the system. The term limits imposed on our legislators means there
is no institutional knowledge in Sacramento of the workers compensation system
and therefore, makes it challenging for employer coalitions to inform and
educate legislators on this complex and labyrinth system.
During this past legislative
session, workers compensation reform received a lot of press coverage because of
the burden of high insurance premiums and the statements from businesses that
jobs are fleeing California. The Insurance Commissioner, John Garamendi,
provided testimony to legislators that pointed out the burden of the workers'
compensation system on businesses, governments, and non-profit organizations.
Tim also pointed out to me in my interview with him that the burden of the
system on public entities and specifically, school districts was significant.
He said, "We spend more on workers' compensation per student, than we do on
textbooks". Given that profound anecdotal evidence, it is important for the
Risk Management community to invest their time and effort to the long-term
strategy of workers' compensation reform and/or redesign.
The California Chamber of
Commerce1 has proposed the following workers compensation reforms for
disability eligibility ratings, and have them verified by objective medical
Extend the employer's
right to choose a medical provider from 30 days to 365.
Correct the definition of
what it means to "cure and relieve" injured employees so that it is
when the injury is to the same part of the body.
penalties in the workers' compensation system that have acted as a perverse
incentive for applicant attorneys to chase minor paperwork violations and turn
them into large awards, and curbing other excessive litigation costs.
Chamber of Commerce Floor Alert dated September 12, 2003