PRESENT, BUT NOT
Presenteeism might be more of a concern to employers than absenteeism, according to a recent survey by Cigna Corp. The 1,149 part and full-time employees surveyed admitted to spending 2.5 to 5 hours a week resolving personal issues at work.
In addition, 61 percent of the respondents said they went to work even though they were sick or dealing with a family or personal issue that had negative effects on their productivity. The telephone interviews conducted by Cigna for the survey involved participants working in white-collar jobs to service jobs.
CALIF. ADDS COMP BILL
California workers' compensation permanent disability benefits could double over three years if a bill adopted by state legislators is approved by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
California Senate Bill 1717 would increase the number of weeks injured workers receive benefits. The bill is opposed by employers and sponsored by Sen. Don Perata, D-Oakland. As of early September, Schwarzenegger had not indicated whether he would sign or veto the bill, which is among several workers' comp bills passed by legislators.
PREMIUMS UP, PROFITS NOT
Recent consolidated underwriting results from the Reinsurance Association of America found premiums were up but profitability was down in the first half of 2008. For a group of 20 U.S. property/casualty reinsurers, the RAA reported policyholders' surplus of $72.8 billion, down 5.8 percent compared with $77.3 billion for the same period in 2007. Through June 30, the group wrote $12.7 billion of net premiums, up 4 percent from $12.2 billion last year.
TARGET SETTLES SUIT
Target Corp. has settled a class-action lawsuit with the National Federation of the Blind, which claimed the retailer's Web site had barriers that prevented full access for the blind. Target will establish a $6 million fund for claimants and make its Web site fully accessible to the blind. According to the lawsuit, the blind cannot fully access Web sites unless they are specifically designed to allow the use of keyboards in conjunction with screen-reading software that vocalizes visual information on a computer screen.
DEMS SUPPORT CAT FUND
The Democratic Party adopted on the first day of its August convention a platform that calls for the creation of a national catastrophe fund. An advocate for the program, ProtectingAmerica.org, claims the move was a first for a major political party. The group also supports the Homeowners' Defense Act of 2007, H.R. 3355, passed by the House last November, which would allow states to pool catastrophic risks and then transfer them to the private market through the sale of catastrophe bonds or purchase of reinsurance.
An opposition group that includes members of the reinsurance industry, Americans for Smart Natural Catastrophe Policy, released a report estimating there would be an enormous cost to taxpayers for a catastrophe insurance program.
--Compiled by staff from news and wire reports.
October 1, 2008
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