When signing a subcontractor agreement, what concerns should I have regarding an indemnification clause or subcontractor agreement?

The scope and liability contained in a subcontractor agreement range widely, from very simple to the complex and punitive. Before signing a subcontractor agreement you should be aware of your responsibilities and liabilities imposed by that contract and whether your company has the means to accept the financial consequences and/or how your insurance will respond.

Definitely understand what risk you accept in the indemnification language. Typically the upstream party will impose an indemnification and hold harmless clause that at least requires you to indemnify them for liabilities where you are at least partially negligent. This may mean an indemnification for only your proportionate responsibility or upwards of their full sole negligence. Imagine your employee removes a safety barrier on a project in order to receive materials at the 3rd floor of a project, and fails to replace the safety barrier. Later an employee for another subcontractor, unaware the barrier has been removed, falls from the side of the building. That injured employee will likely see workers’ compensation and file a lawsuit against the building owner/contractor for negligence. If an indemnification agreement exists between the owners/contractor and you, you can expect the claim to be tendered to you for defense and indemnification. How will your insurance respond?

Your insurance coverage is equally important to the indemnification clause in the subcontractor agreement. If signing a broad (includes sole negligence of the owner) form indemnity agreement, then your insurance coverage should be the broadest available, with sufficient limits, as the indemnification agreement you have signed. This means your policies should include blanket waiver of subrogation for Auto, Work Comp, and General Liability, to prevent you insurance companies from tendering claims against the owner for their negligence that the owner will simply tender back to you under the indemnification agreement. Your policies should also include broad additional insured coverage to provide coverage for ongoing and completed operations (without a limitation of time after construction is completed) and provide coverage on a primary and non-contributory basis. Finally your policy should never include exclusions or restrictions that would place your company at financial risk due to an uncovered loss or an indemnification agreement. Examples of such exclusions/restrictions would be:

1)  Modification of the definition of “insured contract”, which reduces your liability coverage to respond when you are negligent “in whole or in part”. If you have signed an indemnification agreement to respond for the Owners/Contractors “sole negligence”, you may have a gap in coverage.

2)  Exclusion for residential construction. This would eliminate/reduce completed operations coverage for your work.

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled… what’s next?

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled... what's next?The individual mandate will stand as a “tax” versus commerce and Affordable Care Act will move ahead.  With all the fanfare Employers are beginning to plan for their next steps.

Some next steps Employers need to be thinking about:

1). Review your benefit offerings to make sure they meet the guidelines of essential coverage.

2). Watch your mail for notice of the MLR rebate and determine how you will distribute if your
plan qualifies.

3). Confirm with your carrier that your plan has been amended to comply with the Women’s Preventive Care provisions.  Must comply as plans renew beginning 8/1/12.

4.) Be on the lookout for your new Summary of Benefits and Coverage. Carriers are required to provide these for open enrollments/plan years beginning 9/23/12.

5.) If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) you will need to check the allowable maximum. It is now restricted to $2,500 per person up to $5,000 per family.

6.) Employers who submit 250 or more W2 for 2012 must include the value of health care coverage in box 12 on employees W2. Check with your payroll vendor to make sure this amount can be tracked and reported.

Looking further ahead 2014 marks the deadline for many of the major provisions in Obama Care. Individual mandates begin, wellness initiatives are strengthened, automatic enrollment is mandated, waiting periods are restricted, penalties for NOT providing coverage begin, exchanges roll out, pre-existing provisions are eliminated and premium subsidies for lower income individuals become available.

Wallace Welch and Willingham is monitoring the events as they unfold and will keep you up to date on steps towards compliance. We welcome your questions and will be happy to assist.

This legislation still has many voids and unanswered issues. We anticipate seeing significant clarification and revision.  The 2012 presidential election could also have significant impact on the Affordable Care Act. So, for some employers “wait and see” may still be the best next step.

April is National Donate Life Month

Here are some interesting facts from the US Department of Health and Human Services regarding organ donations:

  • In 2010, 62% of living donors were women. The statistic is reversed for deceased donation.
  • In 2010, 67% of all deceased donors were White, 16% were Black, 13% Hispanic and 2.3% Asian.
  • As of December 2011, the national waiting list was made up of 45% White, 29% Black, 18% Hispanic, and 7% Asian.
  • In 2007, (the most recent data) there were almost 2.5 million deaths in the U.S. Imagine if every one of those persons
  • had donated.
  • Currently, more than 100 million people in the U.S. are signed up to be a donor—sign up and join them.

The Gap Continues to Widen

Right now, there are more than enough people waiting for an organ to fill a large football stadium twice over

You can help by registering as an organ donor, bone marrow donor, or donate blood.

US Department of Health and Human Serviceshttp://organdonor.gov

National Marrow Donor Program http://marrow.org

Florida Blood Services www.fbsblood.org

 

What can we do as a company?

If  your company would like to be a Workplace Partnership for Life for organ donation registrations, please contact the US Department of Health Resources and Services Administration at the below address or visit their website:

Workplace Partnership for Life
Attn: Venus Walker
Division of Transplantation
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 12C-05
Rockville, MD 20857
E-mail: vwalker@hrsa.gov
Fax: (301) 594-6095
http://organdonor.gov/howhelp/workplace.html

What’s your nutrition IQ?

This month is National Nutrition Month. In honor of this month, I thought we could test your nutrition IQ. Below is a short quiz about fruits and veggies.

Check your answers below!! Good luck.nutrition iq

  1. What vegetable has the highest content of beta carotene of all vegetables?
  2. What fruit do Americans eat most often?
  3. What vegetable is shaped like a spear and has a lot of folic acid, potassium and fiber?
  4. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Guide Pyramid, how many servings of veggies should you eat each day?
  5. Tomatoes are very high in the carotenoid lycopene. Eating foods with carotenoids can lower your risk of ______?
  6. What is the only fruit that has its seeds on the outside?
  7. What has more fiber than most other fruits and veggies?
  8. What has the most antioxidants than most other fruits and vegetables?
  9. What is the best vitamin C-rich vegetable you could eat?
  10. What is the best iron-rich vegetable available?

How did you score?  Find your answers here