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Critical Incident Services Coming Soon

CSAC recently announced it is working with Mainstream Unlimited to offer pre- and post- incident services for members. This program will include free regional training and webinars on topics such as critical incident management, communications and media management with supporting best practices, policies and procedures. Member-specific training will be available at a discounted rate. Post-incident services include situation assessment and media consulting, which must be pre-approved by CSAC.

CSAC has also created a Critical Incident Response Team, to support members at the time of a critical incident. This team will include CSAC staff, service partners, and industry experts. Rick Brush, Chief Member Services Officer, will serve as the primary contact and be supported by the EIA executive team.

Further announcements are forthcoming. In the meantime, please feel free to call PARSAC with any questions.

Enhanced Safety Training Resources

Wumbus Online Video streaming service offers training videos for 1-day rental. First, we recommend browsing the Wumbus catalog to identify the videos you want to view. When ready to show the video, contact Ian Chadwick to request your video credit. Each member can request up to 2 videos per month at no charge. CSAC continues to offer the Video Lending Library (DVD's by mail; CSAC log in required). If you have any questions on these services, feel free to contact Ian Chadwick directly.

Target Solutions online OSHA, HR, and SMART Leadership courses are also available at no charge to members. Fire and Water/Waste Water continuing education courses are available at a reduced cost and are eligible for reimbursement. For more information, or to request reimbursement, call PARSAC at 800-400-2642 or email Amanda Wright.

El Niño News from the LA Times
Important Information & Reminders
From ERMA Memo 2016-007:
  • ERMA welcomes Jennifer Jobe as Assistant Executive Director. Ms. Jobe currently serves as the Administrator of the Fire Agencies Self Insurance System (FASIS), as well as the Assistant Administrator of the Marin Schools Insurance Authority (MSIA).
  • AB 1825 state mandated sexual harassment prevention training is required every two years (or within 6 months of hire). Per ERMA’s Memorandum of Coverage (MOC), if a member has a sexual harassment claim and is not compliant with AB 1825, the member’s SIR will be doubled for that claim. Members must maintain their own training records.
  • Reporting Requirements: As a condition of coverage, all claims must be reported to ERMA within 30 days of receipt of the written claim. "Oral" claims may be memorialized in writing and submitted to begin coverage. Please be sure to copy PARSAC. If you have any questions regarding what constitutes a claim or other reporting requirements, please email Kathy Maylin or call (800) 541-4591, ext. 1181.

ERMA Legal Alert: Workplace Investigations and Confidentiality Directives
During investigations, employers often instruct employees not to discuss the matter with other employees. However, this may violate an employee's right to discuss their workplace conditions per California Labor Code Section 232.5.
The PERB "does not look favorably on broad, vague directives that might chill lawful speech or other protected conduct." PERB holds that while employers may have legitimate business justifications for requiring confidentiality for matters under investigation, the burden rests on the employer to justify any rule that adversely impacts employees' protected rights. 

When conducting workplace investigations, carefully consider the underlying reasons for requesting confidentiality. 
It may be appropriate to keep the investigation confidential in "unusual" situations if the employer can answer "yes" to one or more of the following questions: 1. Do witnesses need protection? 2. Is evidence in danger of being destroyed? 3. Is testimony in danger of being fabricated? 4. Is there a need to protect from a cover up? Generally, employers should avoid any restrictions that could be construed as prohibiting employee communications protected under California law. If the situation warrants it, employers might consider an admonition as follows:
"We have a compelling interest in protecting the integrity of this investigation. In every investigation, we have a strong desire to protect witnesses from harassment, intimidation, and retaliation, to keep evidence from being destroyed, to ensure that testimony is not fabricated, and to prevent a cover up. For this reason we are keeping the investigation as confidential as possible. We would appreciate your sensitivity to the situation. We ask that you also keep our discussion today and the fact of this investigation as confidential as possible. However, by making that request, we are not prohibiting you from having any discussions that involve your working conditions."

It is strongly recommended that members consider the applicable guidelines and possibly confer with employment counsel before directing employees to not discuss any aspect of an investigation.
Copyright © 2016 Public Agency Risk Sharing Authority of California, All rights reserved.

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