Extreme Heat Week

Extreme Heat Week 2016

The rise in temperatures across the nation is right on queue with the White House naming this week Extreme Heat Week. Heat-related illnesses can be deadly with thousands becoming sick every year. Now is the best time to prepare your employees for working outdoors in excessive heat by following a few simple steps.

It’s important to know the signs of heat-related illness—acting quickly can prevent more serious medical conditions and may even save lives.
•  Heat Stroke is the most serious heat-related illness and requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms include: confusion, fainting, seizures, very high body temperature and hot, dry skin or profuse sweating. CALL 911 if a coworker shows signs of heat stroke.
•  Heat Exhaustion is also a serious illness. Symptoms include: headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, thirst and heavy sweating. Heat fatigue, and heat rash are less serious, but they are still signs of too much heat exposure.
If you or a co-worker has symptoms of heat-related illness, tell your supervisor right away. If you can, move the person to a shaded area loosen his/her clothing, give him/her water (a little at a time), and cool him/her down with ice packs or cool water.

•   Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.
•   Rest in the shade to cool down.
•   Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
•   Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency.
•   Keep an eye on fellow workers.
•   Acclimate – “easy does it” on your first days of work; be sure to get used to the heat and allow yourself to build up a tolerance. Not being used to the heat is a big problem. Many of the people who died from heat stress were either new to working in the heat or returning from a break. If a worker has not worked in hot weather for a week or more, their body needs time to adjust.

Any worker exposed to hot and humid conditions is at risk of heat illness, especially those doing heavy work tasks or using bulky protective clothing and equipment. Some workers might be at greater risk than others if they have not built up a tolerance to hot conditions, including new workers, temporary workers, or those returning to work after a week or more off. All workers are at risk during a heat wave.
Industries most affected by heat-related illness are: construction; trade, transportation and utilities; agriculture; building, grounds maintenance; landscaping services; and support activities for oil and gas operations.

This is OSHA’s fourth year implementing its Heat-Illness Prevention Campaign. More resources are available on their website in English and Spanish. OSHA also has an app to download to your phone that calculates the heat index and provides recommendations based on your risk level. Check out www.osha.gov/heat for training and other educational resources.

Dept. Of Labor Issues New Overtime Payment Rules

On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a final rule regarding overtime wage payment qualifications for the “white collar exemptions” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The final rule increases the salary an employee must be paid in order to qualify for a white collar exemption. The required salary level is increased to $47,476 per year and will be automatically updated every three years starting on January 1, 2020. The new minimum will be announced 150 days in advance (on August 1, 2019 for the January 2020 increase). Employers will need to comply with this rule by Dec. 1, 2016.

Employers must become familiar with the new rule and identify which employees will be affected. They should reclassify employees as exempt or non-exempt, as necessary, by Dec. 1, 2016. Employers should also consider communicating any work schedule changes to affected employees before the date mentioned above. Finally, employers should evaluate whether implementing new timekeeping practices and training for managers and supervisors on the new requirements is necessary.

– The salary level for administrative, executive and professional employee exemptions will increase from $23,660 to $47,476.

– The salary level for the highly compensated employee exemption will increase from $100,000 to $134,004.

– The final rule does not change the duties test for white collar exemptions.

Alper wants to help you navigate your options. Please contact your Alper representative for additional information or with any questions you may have, 312-642-1000.

LGBT Rights Are Expanding. Do You Understand The Terminology?


Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and state laws prohibit sex discrimination and sex harassment in the workplace. Recently, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), as well as some states, municipalities, and some courts, has expanded the traditional parameters of Title VII protection to include applicants and employees who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT).
The EEOC gives some examples of workplace situations it views as unlawful:

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50 Acts Of Charity Challenge: First Quarter Round-Up


On January 1, 2016, Alper Services launched a special campaign to honor our 50th anniversary. The “50 Acts of Charity Challenge” asks each Team Member to celebrate Alper’s philanthropic spirit by sharing their time to support the charity of their choice. The first quarter of 2016 has been a success with 26 different charities receiving a helping hand from the Alper Team!

Here’s how our efforts have added up so far in 2016:

Q1 Charities Served


Alper Welcomes Two New Hires



We’re pleased to announce two new additions to the Alper Team of Experts. Matt Gausden, ARM, AIS, AINS joins Alper as a Client Executive in the Property & Casualty Commercial Lines Division and Matt Unertl comes on board as a Business Development Associate in the Employee Benefits Division.

With ten years of experience in the industry, Matt Gausden has most recently worked as an Assistant Captive Director at a large insurance broker where he managed three large captives containing 70 accounts across a variety of industries. Previous to this, he was a Program Manager responsible for the day to day management of his clients’ accounts, of which he secured 98% retention and a consistent annual growth rate. At Alper, Gausden will develop and maintain high-quality risk management programs for large, complex accounts. To contact, please email Matt at MGausden@AlperServices.com or call 312-867-7350.

Matt Unertl has most recently worked as a Producer at a large international insurance broker where he designed and implemented cost-sustainable employee benefits programs for mid-market organizations. At Alper, he will identify, develop and manage Client business relationships and collaborate with the Alper Team of Experts to construct comprehensive risk management solutions. Matt can be reached at MUnertl@AlperServices.com or 312-654-4258.


Want To Avoid A Ticket Due To An Expired License Plate?


The Illinois Secretary of State’s Office has stopped sending out renewal notices of car license plates, saving the state $450,000 monthly. However, the office will send renewal notices if you schedule an email reminder by registering at: CyberDriveIllinois.com

On the front page of the website is a license plate button reading EMAIL ME with a green license plate tag to the right. By clicking on that tag, you can register to receive the reminder email. Illinois Registration Identification Card Example

Owners need to have their registration ID and PIN number available. This information can be found on your current registration card (see below). If you don’t have a current registration card, contact the Public Inquiry Division at 1-800-252-8980 for assistance.

Closing The Talent Gap: Alper Millennials Offer Insight Into What Attracted Them To The Insurance Industry

Alper's Millennials

Not many independent brokers are still in business after 50 years, but Alper Services is proudly celebrating that we are “50 Years Strong” this year. While we have evolved with industry needs and technology, we also believe it’s essential to welcome a new generation of young professionals. In celebration of Insurance Careers Month, we interviewed three of our Millennial Team Members for their outlook on what makes a job in insurance so attractive.

Edyta Obrzut, Account Assistant – Personal Lines Department
Elena Olivas, Account Assistant – Commercial Lines Division
Andrew Bertucci, AuditRate Consultant

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