Lost in bigger election news, a major ballot initiative in California sought to determine the future of the gig economy. California were asked to decide to implement or reject Proposition 22 as part of their ballots on November 3, 2020. Proposition 22 sought to re-define the way California classifies workers of ride-sharing apps. Uber, Lyft, and other services spent approximately two hundred fifty million dollars seeking to convince the California public to adopt the measure. They succeeded. While not all ballots have been counted yet, Proposition 22 currently has a seventeen point lead and all major news organizations have declared that it will pass.
The Electronic Logging Device mandate went into full effect on December 16, 2019. The rule was originally mandated by Congress as part of MAP-21. MAP-21 was a piece of legislation signed into law in 2012 aimed at updating several aspects of federal highway and vehicle laws and regulations for the 21st century. It took the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) over three and half a years to finalize the electronic logging device rule. The rule then had a delayed phase-in, with larger carriers having to adopt electronic logging devices early and the smallest companies only having to meet the requirement more recently.
State governments continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in a number of different ways that impact businesses and employers. Workers compensation has been a much-discussed topic within this context. In September of 2020, California enacted a new law that codified previous executive orders the created rebuttable presumptions relating to employees who test positive for COVID-19. In addition to the rebuttable presumption, the law created a number of reporting requirements for employers and their workers compensation carriers and administrators.
Small businesses face an increased risk of cyberattack. More and more cyber claims stem from small businesses and small businesses make up an increasing share of the total losses caused by cyber attacks. As this threat evolves, small businesses can no longer ignore their cyber risks without facing disastrous consequences.
The insurance industry is still doing what it can to react to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means situations are changing rapidly within certain sectors of the insurance marketplace. 2020 was already projecting to be a difficult year for insurance markets prior to COVID-19, with property and auto insurance rates seeing significant increases and many carriers reducing capacity in coverage areas like directors and officers liability insurance. The pandemic has only accelerated some of these movements.
The rise of the gig economy radically transformed employment for many people in a very short time. The impacts and consequences of that transformation are still working their way through various parts of our country’s legal system. While legislators try to grapple with updating employment laws to cope with the change, judges are often stuck applying potentially outdated laws to modern situations.
Among the many concerns that have confronted businesses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the issue of business interruption coverage has often loomed large. Many businesses had to shut down operations or at least greatly reduce their operations to comply with state lockdowns and avoid potential civil liability resulting from causing someone’s exposure to the virus. The losses companies faced as a result of these shutdowns easily numbered in the hundreds of billions of dollars.
COVID-19 has changed the way many organizations do business. Whether out of a sense of caution or to comply with emergency orders, many businesses have shifted to allowing more work from home and remote work from employees. This increase in remote work has had significant impacts on cyber security and cyber insurance.
The Insurance Services Office, more commonly referred to as ISO, has issued a number of revised endorsements dealing with additional insured status. ISO is the company responsible for creating insurance industry standardized forms. These new revised endorsements will likely be used by the majority of insurance companies for their United States-based commercial general liability policies.
Trucking companies have faced increasingly large jury verdicts resulting from accidents in recent years. At the same time, the insurance market has tightened, causing rate increases across many lines of commercial insurance. Trucking companies have already faced significant premium hikes over the last few years and were likely to see more of them even in the absence of any major regulatory action.