The Alper and Chubb Volunteers
For the 11th year we partnered with Chubb and Weinstein Wholesale Meats to bring holiday cheer to the homes of 50 families this Thanksgiving. In their typical generous fashion, Weinstein delivered 50 frozen turkeys to the loading dock at The Wrigley Building days prior to celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday. Close on their heels, our partners at Chubb pulled up with the ingredients to prepare all of the traditional sides dishes to accompany the meal.
The holiday meal boxes were assembled and picked up for delivery to families at Sertoma Centre and New Star organizations. Both non-profits serve individuals with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities and those living with mental illness in and around the Chicagoland area. We are thankful for partners who help us serve these exceptional non-profit organizations.
If you are an Illinois employer, do not delay implementing updates to your employee handbook to keep pace with the many new laws enacted by Governor Pritzker this year.
Significant amendments to the Illinois Equal Pay Act, which became effective September 29th, may require an immediate change in the way you screen candidates for employment. Employers are now prohibited from asking for the candidate’s salary or wage information from his/her current or former employers. The prohibition extends to oral interview questions and written applications. However, a candidate may volunteer prior salary info provided it’s not used by the employer as a basis for hiring.
The changes to the Equal Pay Act are an attempt by the State of Illinois to promote equal pay and reduce the gender pay gap. Employers who are found in violation of the new amendments may be subject to fines of $5,000 per violation and special damages up to $10,000. Read more here.
Two other laws which go into effect on January 1, 2020 aim to enlarge the protections afforded to employees from unlawful discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Continue reading
Click here to view the top benefits news stories for November. For questions about anything you read, contact our Employee Benefits Team at EBTeam@AlperServices.com.
The fourth Quarter Alper Advisor is here and features a cover story that answers many of the questions our Clients are asking regarding the new Illinois Cannabis Act. The newsletter delves into several other updates to Illinois law that directly affect every business. Check it out here.
For the 4th year in a row, Alper Services has been named a Best Practices Agency! We are part of an elite group of just 267 independent insurance agencies around the U.S. participating in the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) “Best Practices” Study Group.
In total, more than 1,300 agencies were nominated this year. To be considered, an IIABA affiliated state association or an insurance company must first nominate an agency. They must then qualify based on their outstanding customer retention, growth, stability and financial management.
“Winning the Best Practices Agency status for the fourth year in a row is a great honor and reflects the work our entire Team has put into upholding Alper’s cornerstone values of People, Communication, Technology, Premier Client Service and Growth.” says David Macknin, Alper’s CEO and President.
The Best Practices Study was initiated by IIABA in 1993 as the foundation for efforts to improve agency performance. The annual study of leading independent insurance agencies, which is conducted for IIABA by Reagan Consulting, documents the business practices of these high performance agencies and urges others to adopt similar practices.
Our Personal Lines Team quarterly newsletter is live and preps you for cold weather months ahead. In it you’ll learn how to:
- Protect your home against the cold
- Travel safely with your family when you’re ready to escape the cold
- Commission artwork for that one-of-a-kind holiday gift
Check it out here!
Our Team is always available to answer your personal insurance questions. Please contact Mike Jones at 312-867-7314 or MJones@AlperServices.com.
To download a copy of the latest Market Blueprint, click here.
On January 1, 2020, Illinois will become the 11th state to legalize the recreational sale and use of marijuana. As a result, any Illinois resident 21 years of age or older will be able to legally purchase and possess up to 30 grams of marijuana or the equivalent amount in edibles with up to 500 mg of THC (the intoxicating agent in marijuana).
While the new law poses challenges to Illinois employers, the good news is it does provide leeway to ensure your employees’ recreational usage in no way effects workplace productivity and safety. In fact, the legislation, billed The Illinois Cannabis Act, provides some of the most extensive employer protections compared with the legislation in the other 10 states* that have legalized marijuana.
Here are the top five most common myths and misconceptions tied to the legalization along with the realities of your legal rights in the context of each, and some tips for how to best prepare your business for the impending changes. Continue reading
With the most recent issue of Insurance Business America, we are excited to announce that Alper Services has been the only Chicago-based firm selected a “Top Insurance Workplace“ for the second year in a row! As the second annual Top Insurance Workplace list, 125 companies were nominated and 53 achieved the top designation based upon confidential results from each firm’s employees who were asked to evaluate workplace on several metrics including benefits, compensation, culture, employee development and diversity.
“We are proud to have been the selected a Top Insurance Workplace once again, particularly because it’s a recognition driven in large part by our own employees,” said Leslie Morse, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel. “At Alper, we believe in the personal and professional success of each member of our Team of Experts. In 2019, we kicked off the Alper Leadership Institute with a cohort of seven Team Members ranging from entry-level employees to established departmental managers. Aside from giving these high-potential Team Members tangible professional skills that will enhance their careers, ALI’s main objective is to groom leaders who will manage the implementation of the Alper Trust and ensure the firm continues to deliver boutique-level service to mid-market Clients. This summer also launched the very first Alper Producer Academy which provides a fun and exciting entry into the insurance industry for young Producers.”
For the full list of Top Insurance Workplaces, click here.
A rule making changes in several regulations was issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as part of its ongoing Standards Improvement Project (SIP). The purpose of the update, which took effect on July 15, 2019, is to simplify employer efforts to comply with OSHA regulations and make it easier for employers to determine just how they should achieve compliance. Several updates to key compliance regulations stand out as notable:
HEARING LOSS REPORTING
This final rule mandates that, moving forward, physicians must now use OSHA’s general standards rules for determining the work-relatedness of a hearing loss injury. Previously, medical professionals were allowed to follow their own protocol determining whether hearing loss is work-related.
911 EMERGENCY SERVICES
With advances in communication technology, OSHA has identified a necessary SIP update to 911 posting requirements. Previously, a call to a 911 dispatcher from a landline would provide them with a caller’s location to then relate to emergency services. Such technology is not always available from a mobile phone, which proves problematic when the caller is in a remote location and neither they nor their wireless device can be located by a dispatcher.
OSHA’s update requires that employers located where landlines are not available must post in a conspicuous location either the worksite’s latitude and longitude, or alternatively, other location-identification information that communicates to employees the worksite’s location.
PROTECTING YOUR IDENTITY
Finally, as part of the federal government’s ongoing effort to reduce unnecessary use of Social Security numbers in agency systems and programs, OSHA also has chosen to delete SSN-inclusion requirements from 19 different standards.
The full publication containing the SIP final rule can be found here.
Is your company OSHA compliant? Contact Alper’s Director of Claims Management Services to set up a consultation: Regina Ruffin, RRuffin@AlperServices.com.
Chances are the wires connecting your security system, fire alarm and building automation were manufactured by Windy City Wire (“WCW”), an Alper Services Client since 2010. Based in Bolingbrook, and with distribution centers in 19 locations nationwide, WCW manufacturers and markets low-voltage wire and a series of patented packaging and storage systems that save integrators time and money. Alper is honored to provide both Property & Casualty and Employee Benefits coverage to enable WCW’s continued innovation and growth.
According to Jamie Specht, director of human resources, WCW made the move to Alper Services from a larger broker since Alper offered all the resources of larger firms, yet with the personalized service of a boutique agency. “As we continued to grow, we wanted to be sure we had not just the best-possible coverage, but also the best-possible team to identify risks we hadn’t yet seen, and help us improve our processes to keep our overall risk profile low.” Continue reading