What Is A Whistleblower Claim?

There is no such thing as whistleblower insurance, although some businesses might prefer its existence. A whistleblower claim can mean one of two things. First, these can be the literal assertions made of criminal, unlawful, or immoral activities conducted at a business by an employee. Second, they can be a legal response to retaliatory moves made against a whistleblower (since retaliation is illegal).

When we hear about whistleblower claims in civil court, it’s usually the second instance being considered. Employers respond to whistleblowing in a variety of ways. The best way is simply amending behavior to fall in better line with the law or fundamental human morality. But many employers go further down the rabbithole by limiting hours, harassing, exploiting honest mistakes made by the whistleblower, or terminating employment. All these actions are examples of retaliation. 

An anonymous lawyer for cmlaw.com explained, “All employees have a universal right to unveil potentially illegal or immoral actions made in a workplace, whether those actions are made by a fellow employee or boss. This right exists to make a workplace more comfortable and more in line with the law, which benefits all parties. But still, some managers view whistleblowing as a personal offense and react poorly. That’s when lawyers get involved.”

A classic example of retaliation occurred during and after the first impeachment of former president Donald Trump. Retired Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his brother were both fired after Vindman testified during the impeachment trial. He later sued for intimidation and retaliation. The lawsuit is ongoing. Although this example is political, it works the same way in any workplace and is still illegal in government.

Vindman later admitted he had no qualms about telling the truth when it mattered the most, but was upset that doing the right thing effectively ended his career. 

In fact, whistleblowing often has this effect — and it should not be tolerated. When retaliation occurs, you should immediately contact an employment lawyer to discuss options.

Retaliation claims are often overlooked because they are difficult to prove. A “smart” manager will begin writing up the employee for infractions that are more often ignored. Five minutes late to work? You might get written up when you never were before. Took an extra two minutes on break? Another write-up. Managers will often write up whistleblowers for failing to meet a quota after providing more work than usual or cut hours to make the usual tasks impossible to complete.

Employees who believe that managerial behavior constitutes retaliation should speak to coworkers. Ask them if they received write-ups or got in trouble for the same things. For example, a good employment lawyer will point out when retaliation doesn’t meet the usual code of conduct.

Coworkers are sometimes hesitant to get involved and might be less than inclined to provide this information even when justified because they also fear retaliation and they don’t want to make matters worse. That’s one reason why whistleblower claims are difficult to prove in court.

Insurance Terminology You Need To Know: Part VI

Have you ever needed to purchase an insurance policy but been at a loss when you try to read the plan they offer you? There are dozens of new terms you won’t know that are defined by other strange words you won’t know! And how about when you actually need to file a claim for damages based on that insurance policy? It can be a disaster waiting to happen and a certain win for the insurance company if you can’t even discuss the basics. That’s why we’re determined to help you learn some of the most common insurance-related jargon. Here are a few more!

Broker.

This word refers to the person — usually a third party — responsible for connecting an insurer to the soon-to-be new policy owner. Brokers always take a commission, because that’s what leeches do.

Builders’ Risk Policies.

These policies protect construction companies from any losses incurred during construction. Misplaced beam, building falls down? No problem. The “builders’ risk” policy will cover the damage.

Book Value.

The book value of a transaction is the original cost of the transaction. 

Calendar Year Deductible.

Usually, you’ll see the word “deductible” on an insurance policy — and hopefully you’ll realize that the usually very large amount next to the word is what you have to pay before the insurance company will give you a dime. A calendar year deductible means that you have to pay that usually very large amount every year. 

Carrying Value.

This phrase is the book value in addition to accrued interest of a particular policy. 

Cash Equivalent.

These are flexible investments that can easily be turned into “not investments” (i.e. cash). These investments are usually mature and not subject to random, risky bouts of fluctuation. They’re the opposite of, say, penny stocks. Never invest in penny stocks unless you’re into losing huge amounts of cash.

Insurance Terminology You Need To Know: Part I

Anyone buying or selling insurance for the first time will quickly realize the extensive amount of jargon associated with the industry. It’s not always self-explanatory, either. Do you know what the repatriation of remains is? What is an FSA? Or an HMO? HRA? …HSA? No matter how fluent you might be with the lingo, sometimes it helps to brush up on the really complicated terms. Here are a few of the most common in the first part of our series on insurance terminology.

What is a benefit period?

This is the exact period of time during which a particular plan will cover a particular person. A benefit period that lasts for three months might begin February 5 and run through October 5. That means the coverage is still good on both of those days — and every day in between. For health insurance plans, the coverage is usually good for one year, but keep your eye on the specific dates. 

What is coinsurance?

Many people who have never purchased an insurance plan might mistakenly assume this is some type of shared insurance between two people. But it’s not. This is shared payment between you and your insurance provider. Coinsurance is usually provided as a percentage of the amount owed. It usually kicks in after the deductible has been paid. 

What is a deductible?
This is probably the most important new term you need to learn! The deductible is the amount you pay for a service (usually healthcare) before an insurer will pay a dime for specific services. Before purchasing a plan, pay close attention. Cheaper plans usually have higher deductibles, which can be terrible if you don’t have much money in your wallet. For example, a $5,000 deductible means that if you are diagnosed with a life-threatening form of cancer, you would have to pay $5,000 before your insurer helps out. And don’t forget — you might still be paying a lot in coinsurance.

Fidelity Bonds Can Protect A Company Against Loss Due To A Dishonest Employee

A fidelity bond provides protection against losses which occurred as a result of fraudulent acts. This type of bond typically covers a business in case they have losses because of a dishonest employee. These are called bonds, but they are really insurance policies that cover any losses a business may experience due to acts of a dishonest employee. They protect against loss of securities, monies, or other business properties.

Businesses such as brokerage firms and insurance companies are required to carry fidelity bonds. The size of the bond is proportional to the company’s net capital.

Fidelity bonds cannot be traded nor do they accrue interest in Los Angeles. Fidelity bonds may be purchased for two different situations: first-party and third-party bonds.

First-party fidelity bonds provide a company protection when an employee commits an intentional wrongful act such as embezzlement or forgery. A third-party fidelity bond provides a company protection if a contractor or a contractor’s employee commits an intentional wrongful act.

A Commercial Crime Fidelity Bond protects a business against wrongful acts by any employee involved in handling financial transactions or money.

A Business Service Fidelity Bond protects property owners against wrongful acts committed by a service provider such as a maintenance worker or a pet sitter.

An ERISA Fidelity Bond protects both beneficiaries and participants against dishonest or wrongful acts committed by a fiduciary or employee who handles employee pension or benefit plans. These include a company’s 401K or their company pension plan. This type of bond is the only one which is required by law.

The cost of a fidelity bond will vary depending on the amount of coverage and the type of bond. A company can usually purchase a fidelity bond with $500,000 worth of coverage for between $300 and $400 a year.

Fidelity bonds cover all employees in a company. They may also cover directors, trustees, partners, members, and temporary employees.

What Is A Risk Retention Group?

Risk is an important factor to consider for institutions and companies who are investing in future growth. This is where RRGs come into action as a good option. Risk Retention Groups are designed to help keep things in place for businesses who want to maximize their insurance.

Let’s take a look at what a Risk Retention Group is.

What Is It?

The primary focus of Risk Retention Groups is to help prevent liabilities from swallowing up an entire institution. For example, if a problem occurs and a liability presents itself, this group is going to cover for those concerns. The difference between this and regular insurance is knowing everything is unbundled (pick and choose what you need), and it is controlled by various members.

This ensures the protection is kept to the point and doesn’t block what you are doing.

Benefits of A Risk Retention Group

1) Stable

This is a stable option that is going to keep the risk at bay for all members who are a part of the group. This stability keeps everyone comfortable and ensures liabilities don’t sweep everything away in the long-term.

2) Member Control Over Risk

What is the most important thing for people who are venturing down this path? The goal is to maintain risk as that is the only way to feel comfortable. All members can control risk with RRGs on their side.

3) Avoid Multiple State Regulations

The goal is to keep things simple as that’s most important. You can avoid multiple state regulations by making sure the Risk Retention Group keeps things in place. It will have an all-encompassing solution for your needs.

A Risk Retention Group is a good idea for those wanting to regulate what they’re doing and how their liabilities are handled.

Just What Is Financial Solvency?

If you ever study or deal with matters of a monetary or financial nature, then you hear certain terms. Sometimes, you might come across particular phrases or terms and not understand what they mean. If that’s the case, it’s understandable if you find yourself wondering just what is financial solvency?

In the realm of finance and business, financial solvency is described or defined as the degree to which a company’s or organization’s current assets exceed the liabilities of that same company or organization. Financial solvency is also alternatively defined or described as the power of a business to responsibly meet its longer-term fixed expenses necessary to engender future growth
and expansion.

A simple example to understand all this can actually be done on an individual basis, as a working adult is basically a business of one. If his or her income, savings, investments, property, and other assets are enough to keep paying monthly bills and reducing the person’s debts over time, then his or her net worth is going up over time. That is considered financial solvency.

On the other hand, if a person is seeing their amount of debt rise over time, even if they’re paying monthly bills and minimum debt payments, then they are financially insolvent on an increasing basis. This is often measured using credit scores.

Judging the financial solvency of a company is something many investors do in determining whether or not to buy their stock. It can also impact stock value.

Lenders often look at the financial solvency of an individual in determining the size and interest rates of loans they offer, much less whether or not to offer one at all. This measurement of the financial health and wellness of any individual, company, or organization should be used to map out a better future.