Issue 72-February 2018
Save the Date: 23nd Annual Risk Management Educational Forum
Reaching the finish line is only one part of a successful race. Those who finish the race aren’t winners simply because they reached their goal, but also because they learned the path and planned for pitfalls.
This September at the California JPIA’s 23rd annual Risk Management Educational Forum, you are asked to join us in “The Amazing Race to Risk Management Success.” We’re bringing the best to be on your team. In this race, you’ll learn about many risks you may face on your way to the finish line. There will be experts to help you overcome fear of disaster, cast aside threats from those attempting harm, and remove doubts about whether your resources will last. Others will coach you along the way as you face challenges and adventure. So come and join us at the starting line.
Mark your calendar and save the date for the 2018 Risk Management Educational Forum to be held at Park Hyatt Aviara in Carlsbad, California from September 19 – 21, 2018. Registration and general Forum information, including sessions and speakers, will be available in May.
Risk Management Academy – Success!
By Michelle Aguayo, Training Coordinator
Conceived as a collaborative experience for risk management practitioners, the Authority held its inaugural Risk Management Academy on January 23 – 25, in Carlsbad. The invitation-only Academy was limited to individuals who have primary day-to-day responsibility for their agency’s risk management.
The comprehensive and practical two-day Academy introduced participants to root cause analysis, unique loss exposures of public entities, contractual risk transfer and insurance review, understanding liability claims and loss control, investigating claims and preserving evidence, workers’ compensation and safety management, disability management and early return to work, and an array of interactive risk management sessions. Several the sessions were presented by the Authority staff, many of whom are recognized as subject matter experts their respective areas of risk management.
The Risk Management Academy experience was well-received. Johanne Thordahl, Human Resources Analyst with the City of San Clemente shared, “The Academy is an excellent opportunity for someone who is new to risk management or has been in risk management for a long time. The diversity of the risk management topics presented at this Academy is beneficial to risk management generalists.”
Additionally, the Academy afforded participants with valuable networking opportunities. “The Academy was an excellent way to meet city managers, assistant city managers, human resources managers, and others new to risk management. Oftentimes, risk management has been thrust upon them. One of the benefits of the Academy was the opportunity to exchange ideas and share stories,” explained Brianne Anderson, Community Services Manager at the City of Westlake Village.
The next Risk Management Academy will be held January 22 – 24, 2019 at the La Bellasera Hotel in Paso Robles. For additional information please contact Michelle Aguayo, Training Coordinator.
Photo: Risk Management Academy attendees with Authority staff
New Online Dashboard!
New myJPIA features offer members 24/7 self-service access to important details and information regarding agency claims, accounting, resources, and reports.
Connect with the following features:
View key agency information at a glance with the myJPIA Dashboard
The myJPIA Dashboard provides a summary of key metrics and information as well as the ability to drill down for further details and actions. The Dashboard will be the starting myJPIA homepage for those that perform a primary role for their agency, such as the city manager, executive director, human resources director, and finance director. The Dashboard can display LossCAP Program progress, upcoming training, upcoming business meetings, upcoming member hosted trainings, quick links, liability claim costs, workers’ compensation claim costs, cost of coverage, and upcoming events. The list of controls displayed in the Dashboard varies depending on the key roles associated with each user.
Access self-service reports for LossCAP Program items, online claim overviews, and summary of losses
Users who have received approval from their agency may view or run a report on their agency’s complete list of both current and historic action items associated with the agency’s LossCAP Program. In addition, agency-approved users may view claim activity and history through claim reports in myJPIA, including: Run Overview, Summary of Losses, and Summary of Losses by Cause reports for both liability and workers’ compensation claims. Users may access these reporting features from the “Claims” menu in myJPIA.
Review annual contribution amounts and annual payroll information
Use myJPIA’s new accounting features to reference the annual contribution amount and RAI (Retrospective Adjustment Installment) invoices, as well as the annual payroll information for your agency.
Utilize enhanced search filters for the Resources and Documents Library
Within myJPIA, users can now filter search results from the Authority’s Resources and Documents Library by both keyword AND category. Both filter values are applied as opposed to either one or the other.
Risk Managers Roundtables: myJPIA Website and Resources
The Authority presents quarterly Risk Managers Roundtables on various topics related to risk management, providing members with opportunities for roundtable discussion and dialogue on timely and relevant issues. The 2018 Risk Managers Roundtables kicks-off in March with an interactive presentation on myJPIA.
Carl Sandstrom, Business Projects Manager, and the Authority’s regional Risk Managers will provide an advance look at the new and upcoming format and functionality of myJPIA. The new “dashboard” format will provide tailored access to information for registered members depending upon their position with the agency and areas of interest that have been previously established in the system. Bring your smartphone, tablet, or laptop to this roundtable and sign-in to follow along and experience your unique profile and resources.
You will not want to miss this valuable educational and networking opportunity. Lunch will be served at noon with the Roundtable wrapping up at 2:00 p.m.
The first roundtable will be held at the California JPIA campus in La Palma on Monday, March 12, 2018. Other dates and locations are:
City of Palm Desert
Tuesday, March 20
Noon – 2:00 p.m.
City of Pismo Beach
Tuesday, March 27
Noon – 2:00 p.m.
Please register for the Roundtable through your training registrar or myJPIA, and contact Office Assistant, Maria Daniels at (562) 467-8773 for assistance or questions.
Contractual Risk Transfer Manual Updated and Available
By Abraham Han, Administrative Analyst
The seventh edition of the Authority’s Contractual Risk Transfer Manual is now available to members.
The manual contains several updates since its last revision in 2016. They include umbrella or excess liability insurance specifications as they apply to automobile liability, updated indemnity language in the professional service agreement section, moving the products/completed operations provision to the construction agreements section, and new automobile liability limits for service work adjacent to or impacting roadways in the Coverage Analysis Matrix (Appendix J).
The purpose of the manual is to guide the user in writing proper insurance specifications for contracts and obtaining insurance compliance. The manual also assists members in answering questions related to insurance specifications and indemnity and help with processes and techniques for allocating risk using risk transfer principles. Members are encouraged to share the manual with their legal counsel and staff that have a role in contract development or execution.
The Contractual Risk Transfer Manual is available electronically via the Authority’s website (select “Risk Transfer” on the “Category Search” drop-down list). All prior versions in use by members should be replaced to ensure consistency with agency policy.
Additionally, the Authority offers training) on this topic. Participants who attend Contractual Risk Transfer: Strategically Managing Risk are taught how to use the Contractual Risk Transfer Manual to help protect their agency against financial loss through contracts.
If you have any questions about the manual or the training, please contact your assigned regional Risk Manager.
Join Social Media Conversations with the Authority
In order to reach new members and better connect with current members, the Authority has an active presence on social media. Members can find information on various topics on the social media channels listed below.
Connect with our latest topics:
“Authority members: Don’t miss out on any of the upcoming 2018 Academies! Make sure to mark these dates on your calendar:
Executive Academy: April 11 – 13
Human Resources Academy: April 17 – 19
Public Works Academy: June 19 – 21
Management Academy: October 22 – 25” Like, comment and share:
“The Department of Transportation (DOT) has published its long-awaited final rule amending its drug testing program for DOT-regulated employers. The new rule went into effect on January 1, 2018. Employers who comply with DOT standards when drug testing should modify their drug testing policies accordingly. Visit the DOT website for more information: https://lnkd.in/g8jXnFf” Follow us, comment and share about risk management:
LinkedIn Discussion Group
“Some agencies use third-party transportation providers for excursions and outings. If your agency provides this type of transportation, what steps do you take to ensure the safety of passengers while also protecting your agency?” Join the conversation, or pose a question or idea about risk management and the California JPIA:
“Today is National Walk Your Dog Day! Authority members can use our online resources to make sure dog parks and sidewalks are hazard-free for our furry friends and their owners. Search our Resources and Documents library here: https://tinyurl.com/jxpfhdu” Tweet, retweet and follow the California JPIA:
For information on how to join these sites or participate in discussions, please contact Courtney Morrison, Administrative Analyst, by email or by phone at (562) 467-8779.
The Court Report
Perez v. City of Roseville: When Police Officers Date Fellow Officers
By Susan E. Coleman, Partner, Burke, Williams & Sorenson, LLP
Generally, dating someone you work with is not a good idea. If things don’t work out, it makes the work atmosphere awkward. When a relationship occurs between employees of different ranks, it can create problematic dynamics leading to harassment or hostile work environment claims (with claims brought by one of the involved employees or by others who perceive they are not receiving preferential treatment). Perhaps for this reason, some employers have anti-fraternization rules, discouraging or prohibiting relationships among employees. If the rule is narrowly tailored, it may be enforceable and constitutional.
In the case of Perez v. City of Roseville, a probationary police officer was discharged by the City of Roseville after an internal affairs investigation into her romantic relationship with a fellow officer. (The IA investigation was initiated by the fellow officer’s wife.) The Internal Affairs investigation found that the relationship was conducted off-duty although some texts and phone calls occurred while on duty. Both officers Perez and Begley were married but separated from their spouses. The Department concluded the conduct of both officers constituted “unsatisfactory work performance” and “conduct unbecoming.” Roseville did not have an anti-fraternizing rule but instead relied on general performance standards. Two supervisors who reviewed the IA report found officer Perez should be released from the Department. Later comments made by these supervisors indicated they disapproved of Perez’s extramarital conduct.
While not discussed by the Court, readers may be wondering why the female officer was terminated whereas the male officer apparently was not. There are several possible reasons for this apparent discrepancy. Perez brought the lawsuit, not Begley, so the case on appeal is limited to discussing whether the adverse action taken against Perez was appropriate. Officer Begley may well have received the same discipline. The more likely scenario is that Officer Begley had already passed the probationary time period and was a permanent civil service, entitled to more due process protections and procedures. Generally, a government employee still on probation can be discharged for any reason, so long as it is not unlawful (i.e. discriminatory). On the other hand, good cause is required to discharge a permanent civil service employee.
Perez brought suit under section 1983, claiming that her termination violated her rights to privacy and intimate association because it was impermissibly based on her private off-duty sexual contact. The district court granted the City’s motion for summary judgment on grounds of qualified immunity, holding the City would reasonably believe termination was lawful.
On appeal, the Ninth Circuit considered whether the City’s dismissal of Perez was based on legitimate reasons or pretextual reasons that impermissibly violated her right to privacy. The Court found that a police department can only take disciplinary action against an officer for private off-duty sexual involvement with another officer if it impacts her job performance or if there is a narrowly tailored regulation in place prohibiting such conduct. The Ninth Circuit concluded that an issue of fact existed as to whether Perez was fired, at least in part, because of her extramarital affair. The Ninth Circuit also held that any reasonable official would have been on notice that the City’s termination of Perez was unconstitutional (if motivated by the private relationship, as alleged by Perez) and thus denied qualified immunity on the privacy issue. The Court remanded the case to the district court on Perez’s privacy claim based on disputes of fact. The Court upheld the district court’s decision granting qualified immunity on due process because the due process rights for a probationary employee in this situation were not clearly established at the time. The Court also upheld the lower court’s decision granting summary judgment on the gender discrimination issue because her termination appeared to have been based on the City’s disapproval of her extra-marital affair, rather than gender discrimination. If the termination was based on moral grounds, it would not be unlawful discrimination.
The takeaway from this decision is that police departments and other agencies may take disciplinary action against police officers for personal conduct if it interferes with their job performance or violates narrowly drafted regulations of the Department. However, if the adverse action appears to be motivated by discriminatory or otherwise unlawful or unconstitutional reasons, rather than an objective effect on the employee’s job duties, the courts will not allow it. Agencies must be conscientious of the privacy rights of employees and only investigate personal relationships when there appears to be a direct conflict with the employee’s job duties.< Back to Full Issue Print Article