Issue 32-October 2014
Recognition of Dwight Kunz, Carl Warren & Company
For the past thirty-one years, Dwight Kunz of Carl Warren & Company, the Authority’s third-party administrator for the liability program, has dutifully served as Supervisor and Account Manager for the California JPIA account. During that time, he has forged relationships with members, defense counsel, mediators, judges and even plaintiff attorneys that have proved invaluable to the success of our liability claims program. Dwight’s ability to bring the toughest cases to successful resolutions is unparalleled. He has consistently been able to resolve these cases through persistent and fair negotiations where others felt it was hopeless. Dwight’s level of experience and knowledge has earned him the respect of his peers and allowed him to successfully lead the Carl Warren & Company team in providing excellent claims handling and litigation management to the Authority and its members for over three decades. Over the past several years, Carl Warren & Company has consistently received scores of 90% and above on our yearly independent claims handling audit. This is truly a testament to the exemplary leadership that Dwight has established and to the dedication of each and every member of his team.
When Carl Warren & Company developed a need for an executive level staff person to fill the role of Assistant Vice President, Quality Control within their organization, Dwight was the obvious choice. With that in mind, Dwight has been gradually transitioning to that assignment over the last three months and will continue to do so over the remainder of the year. During the transition period, Dwight will assist Chris Kustra in assuming the role as the Account Manager. Chris has been with Carl Warren & Company for for ten years and over the past five years has served as a supervisor on the California JPIA account. Chris has proven himself to be an effective claims handler, litigation manager, and leader and we are pleased to have him transition into the Account Manager role.
Please join us in congratulating Dwight on the great service he has provided to the Authority as well as his new role and Chris on his appointment as the Authority’s Account Manager.
California JPIA Updates Website
The California JPIA recently updated its website www.cjpia.org in order to provide better information and service to members. Overall, this means members will be able to find information more easily, and also have access to more self-service options. Below are some highlights and key features:
Register for training courses
On our Training page, member employees are able to register for webinars, e-learning courses, classroom training, and more. Course details and descriptions are also provided. Note that member registrars will still need to go to the Resource Center. Follow the quick link on the home page.
Access our library of helpful resources and documents
Our library of resources and documents has been consolidated into the new site so that members no longer will need to look for these in the Resource Center. Members will now find checklists, policy templates, workers’ compensation forms, agenda items, meeting minutes, cost allocation documents, and other useful links. Just use the search feature inside the resources and documents page.
Read about important, current news as events happen
Members can learn of current events, legislation updates, and other news items by accessing our News and Updates page.
The Report a Claim page allows members to use an online form to report directly to the California JPIA’s third-party administrators for claims involving third-party liability, workers’ compensation injuries or illnesses, property, and all other programs. Note that the significant incident feature that appeared on the old site is no longer available. If you think you have a significant incident involving death, serious injury, or significant property damage, always contact your regional risk manager.
Get detailed information about coverage programs
The website provides details about coverage and insurance programs available to our members, which include programs for liability protection, workers’ compensation, property insurance, crime insurance, and more.
Browse through the Training Catalog of courses and offerings
Members are able to view all of our courses and offerings by browsing through the training catalog’s online table of contents or by printing out the catalog.
Request Evidence of Coverage letters
The website includes a user-friendly submission form which allows members to easily make requests for evidence of coverage letters. Basic evidences of coverage are available for immediate download.
Download Memoranda of Coverage and Certificates of Coverage
Members can download their memoranda of coverage and certificates of coverage for the liability and workers’ compensation pooled coverage programs by visiting our Coverage Evidences, Documents, and Certificates page.
Read the Authority Newsletter
Members can read the current month’s newsletter or browse through newsletter archives. A search function makes it easy to find topics of interest within each newsletter.
View a calendar of upcoming meetings
The Calendar page allows members to view the schedule of upcoming committee meetings and other events at a glance.
Submit receipts to receive reimbursement for training-related expenses
Members can visit the Training page and use the training reimbursement request feature to upload receipts and submit reimbursement requests directly to the training division.
As always, we welcome members’ input and feedback. Please share your comments directly through the site on any page, or feel free to contact Courtney Morrison at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let us know how we are doing in providing the services and information you need.
by Michelle Aguayo, Training Coordinator
The California JPIA Management Academy was held September 8 – 10, 2014 at the Shorebreak Hotel in Huntington Beach. Forrest Story, principal consultant for Public Sector Excellence; John Perry, President of Human Productivity Systems; and Bob May, Consultant with Mainstream Unlimited, facilitated the three-day academy which consisted of eight sessions designed for entry-level managers and supervisors.
The Management Academy exposes participants to leadership principles and practices that will help them to motivate and sustain employee performance, and improve customer service and productivity. The program focuses on the essentials of leadership designed for lead staff, new supervisors, for those who are thinking of moving up to the job of supervisor and for those experienced supervisors and managers who want to review some of the basics.
“The program offers those who are engaged in the day-to-day tasks of leadership the skills and strategies to help them build a culture of success, become better leaders, build a foundation that pfosters positive and productive workplace relationships, collaborate to build performance excellence and achieve organizational goals, and accomplish the organization’s mission,” shared Story, who was instrumental in creating the program for the Authority. Sessions included:
- Contractual Risk Transfer
- The Role of the Public Sector Supervisor
- Decision Making
- The Job Person Environment Assessment
- Orientation Training, Coaching, and Delegation
- Writing Policies, Procedures, and Programs
- Performance Appraisal and Dealing with Performance Issues
- Public Service Ethics
28 participants representing sixteen agencies attended the specialized academy. Steve Mitchell with the City of Camarillo expressed, “The best aspect of the Academy is that the information is appropriate and thought provoking, and it is relevant to my job with the City.” Sean McGilvra from the City of Fountain Valley commented on Forest Story’s straight-forward and sincere presentation style, “I’ve been to a few of Forrest Story’s classes. He’s a great speaker, is funny and easy to listen to.”
For more information about the Academies offered by the California JPIA, please contact Michelle Aguayo, Training Coordinator, at email@example.com.
Firefighters Pumped for Multipurpose ‘Quint’ Firetruck
by Michael J. Williams, Staff Writer, Press Enterprise
September 9, 2014
Lake Elsinore’s million-dollar baby – a 2014 custom-built, state-of-the-art, fire-engine red firetruck – is finally ready for action.
Ordered more than a year ago, the “quint” firefighting vehicle, so named because it offers five major functions, is now parked at the city’s Rosetta Canyon Fire Station. It should be pressed into service next week after it goes on public display before Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
The primary advantage of the quint is that it amalgamates the functions of a ladder truck and a pump engine into one vehicle, while adding a variety of other features.
Essentially, it’s the Swiss Army Knife of fire engines.
Aboard the quint, said Capt. Joe Taylor, “We’re like a big multipurpose toolbox on wheels.”
With their advanced capabilities, quint trucks are becoming more of the norm these days in the firefighting industry. Other nearby jurisdictions such as Perris and Menifee already have them. Murrieta likes its vehicle so much the City Council decided Sept. 2 to order another one.
But for now, Lake Elsinore’s first quint, built by the Smeal Fire Apparatus Co. in Snyder, Neb., is the classiest model around.
“This is the best there is,” said the vehicle’s driver, fire apparatus engineer Daniel Beeson.
County fire officials recommended that the city obtain the quint to coincide with the opening of the Rosetta Canyon station in part because of the lack of one or an aerial ladder truck in the immediate area.
City Council members agreed to the request, though they put off ordering it until they were assured the station would open, which happened in July 2013.
Because it is part of the Riverside County system, the city needed to enter into a financing agreement with county officials to equip and run the station located within Rosetta Canyon Park.
While the truck itself cost a little more than $800,000, Lake Elsinore added about $175,000 in equipment to it so it is prepared for challenges unique to the region. Through the agreement, the county reimbursed the city with $300,000 toward the truck’s cost.
“What I was really looking at was that we bring in an asset that we didn’t have in this area,” said Councilman Brian Tisdale, who served as mayor in 2013. “We could have went with a regular engine, which would have been cheaper, but every time there’s a fire (requiring an aerial ladder) in an industrial area, we have to get a truck from Temecula or Menifee.”
With a 75-foot aerial ladder and portable ground ladders totaling about 125 feet, the quint possesses far more ladder capability than is typical.
The aerial ladder enables firefighters to more quickly access roofs and other high spots, while it also can be used for aerial views and photography, said Lake Elsinore Battalion Chief Mark Barr, who runs the city’s department.
2014 Legislative Session
by Jeff Rush, Workers’ Compensation Program Manager
The 2014 Legislative Session recently concluded, and Governor Brown vetoed many of the bills that created additional exposure for Authority members including the following:
- AB 194 (Campos) which would have had a negative impact on effectively conducting public meetings.
- AB 2052 (Gonzalez) which would have extended certain workers’ compensation presumptions to any employees classified as “peace officers.”
- AB 2378 (Perea) which would have removed 4850 benefits from the 104-week limit on aggregate disability payments for workers’ compensation injuries.
- SB 924 (Beall) which would have extended the statute of limitations for filing child sexual abuse cases against public entities when evidence or witnesses are no longer available.
Governor Brown did sign two significant bills that create additional exposures as follows:
- AB 1023 (Perez) which extends the statute of limitations for the survivors of safety officers filing a claim for death benefits resulting from cancer, tuberculosis and other conditions.
- AB 1522 (Gonzalez) which mandates all workers including temporary, seasonal, part-time and full time are provided with at least three days of sick leave per year.
The Authority was actively involved in representing the members’ interests by way of position letters on these bills as well as the representation provided through its membership in professional organizations including the California Association of Joint Powers Authorities (CAJPA) and the California Coalition on Workers’ Compensation (CCWC). It is likely that many of the bills vetoed by Governor Brown will be heard again by the legislature when they start their next legislative session in early 2015.
Fortyune v. City of Lomita
by Paul Zeglovitch, Liability Programs Manager
This case involves an application of ADA law that could prove to be far-reaching and potentially very problematic for cities within the State of California and potentially across the Country. Wheelchair-bound, paraplegic plaintiff Fortyune filed suit against the City of Lomita alleging it was violating the ADA by not having on-street handicap accessible parking. The City, through the California JPIA and attorney Robert Brockman, moved to dismiss the case, citing that in contrast to parking lots and garages, there is no specific requirement under the ADA to provide on-street handicap accessible parking. The federal trial court denied the motion, and the City appealed, renewing its arguments that there are no guidelines, standards or requirement for on-street handicap parking, therefore there is no violation.
Along with the City’s appellate brief, the League of California Cities filed an amicus brief supporting the defense position. Plaintiff filed a reply brief that was augmented by a brief from the Department of Justice. After taking the matter under submission, the Ninth Circuit appellate court ruled that Title II of the ADA “requires local governments to provide accessible on-street parking even in the absence of regulatory design specifications for on street parking.” This ruling is greatly troubling as it leaves no guidelines whatsoever as to what is required of cities, what standards are acceptable, and how on-street parking should be implemented. Further, what may appease the court in one location and on one case, may not in another, leaving cities continually at risk of ADA liability.
Attorney Brockman has now filed a petition for an en banc review of the appellate court’s decision. En banc review involves the re-hearing of the case by a larger pool of judges within the Ninth Circuit. The Ninth Circuit has a pool of approximately 29 judges, however panels of three are assigned to specific appeals. En Banc review would allow all of the judges to be part of this review, but in practice its en banc court consists of 11 judges. The Authority will keep the membership apprised of the progress of this important case.
Cal/OSHA: Reporting Workplace Injuries and Illnesses
by Alex Mellor, Risk Manager
Many members have established a procedure for employees to follow in the event of an injury or illness in the workplace. This procedure typically includes providing the injured employee with immediate medical care, requiring the injured employee and their supervisor to complete reports regarding the incident, and communicating the incident to the Authority’s third party claims administrator, York Risk Services.
One important item not to overlook is to determine if the injury or illness must be reported to Cal/OSHA. Title 8, California Code of Regulations (CCR), Section 342, requires that all employers report any serious injury, or illness, or death to the nearest Cal/OSHA District Office as soon as practically possible, but no later than 8 hours after the employer knows, or with diligent inquiry would have known, of the death or serious injury or illness. If the employer can demonstrate that exigent circumstances exist, the time frame for the report may be made no longer than 24 hours after the incident.
“Serious Injury or Illness” is defined by Title 8, CCR, Section 330(h), as follows:
Any injury or illness occurring in a place of employment or in connection with any employment which:
Requires inpatient hospitalization for a period in excess of 24 hours for other than medical observation;
Results in an employee suffering a loss of any member of the body;
Results in an employee suffering any serious degree of permanent disfigurement.
In order to ensure that serious injuries or illnesses, or death, are reported timely to Cal/OSHA, the Authority recommends designating one employee (i.e. the HR Manager or Risk Manager) as responsible for this reporting. This employee should receive training to ensure that they understand what injuries and illnesses need to be reported and which do not. All managers and supervisors should be advised to report any workplace injury or illness or death to this designated employee, who can then make the decision whether to contact Cal/OSHA.
The Authority also recommends implementing a procedure to ensure Cal/OSHA is notified of serious injuries or illnesses, or death that occur after regular business hours. One option, and perhaps the simplest, is to make the employee responsible for this reporting during regular business hours as “on call” to also complete the function after hours. Managers and supervisors working after hours should be instructed to contact that employee immediately in the event of a workplace injury or illness, or death. Obviously, a backup (or two) should be designated in the event this employee cannot be reached.
To locate the Cal/OSHA District office closest to you, visit this link: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/DistrictOffices.htm. For additional information or guidance regarding this article, please contact your Regional Risk Manager.