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GALLERY: Our most popular Off Beat stories from August

Published September 02, 2014 - 1:17pm CST

This month: Bill for Band-Aid adds insult to injury, lawsuit against insurer settles for heavy dough, pageant queen wannabe takes runway walk to fraud charges. and more. View the gallery

EEOC conference offers training to private, public equal opportunity execs

By: Judy Greenwald

Published September 02, 2014 - 1:05pm CST

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has scheduled for Sept. 17 its third annual executive leadership conference, which is designed to meet the professional development needs of senior leaders in the field of equal employment opportunity, the agency said Tuesday.

Insider traders in U.S. face longer prison terms: Reuters analysis

Published September 02, 2014 - 11:24am CST

(Reuters) — U.S. judges are imposing increasingly long prison terms for insider trading, a Reuters analysis shows. The rise is at least partly driven by the bigger profits being earned through the illegal schemes, defense lawyers said.

Halliburton to settle U.S. Gulf spill claims for $1.1B

Published September 02, 2014 - 10:51am CST

(Reuters) — Halliburton Co. said it reached a $1.1 billion settlement for a majority of claims against the company for its role in the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

McDonald's to boost China supplier audits after food safety scandal

Published September 02, 2014 - 10:41am CST

(Reuters) — McDonald’s Corp. will increase the number of audits it conducts of suppliers in China, the firm said on Tuesday, after a food scandal in July dented China sales at the U.S. fast food chain and rival Yum Brands Inc.

Alternative capital keeps pressure on insurers in London market: A.M. Best

By: Sarah Veysey

Published September 02, 2014 - 10:05am CST

Insurers in the London market are facing a difficult trading environment as competition from alternative sources of capital threatens their market share, according to a briefing report released Tuesday by A.M. Best Co. Inc.

Scor launches reinsurance arm in Brazil

By: Sarah Veysey

Published September 02, 2014 - 9:57am CST

Scor S.E. has begun operating as a local reinsurer in Brazil, the Paris-based reinsurer announced Monday.

European insurers' gross written premiums reach $1.47 trillion in 2013

By: Sarah Veysey

Published September 02, 2014 - 9:49am CST

The gross premiums written by European insurers in 2013 totaled €1.119 trillion ($1.470 trillion), a 2.7% increase over the previous year, according to statistics published Monday by Insurance Europe, but impacts loom from upcoming Solvency II rules.

Congress faces pressure to resolve multiemployer pension woes

By: Jerry Geisel

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

When federal lawmakers passed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act in 1974, they put aside a key issue affecting a big slice of the pension universe: multiemployer plans.

Landmark ERISA pension reform law sees mixed results 40 years after implementation

By: Jerry Geisel

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Forty years after President Gerald Ford signed the first comprehensive pension reform bill into law, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act has produced successes and failures.

Florida exclusive remedy ruling may upend workers compensation system

By: Sheena Harrison

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Injured workers in Florida might be able to receive both workers compensation benefits and civil liability damages should an appeal filed last week by the Florida attorney general’s office fail to overturn a ruling that declared the state’s exclusive remedy provision unconstitutional.

Insured losses from Napa earthquake could reach $1 billion

By: Bill Kenealy and Matt Lerner

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

The magnitude 6.0 earthquake that shook the Napa Valley region last week caused up to $1 billion in insured losses, with damage centered in the city of Napa enabling the nearby wine industry to emerge mostly unscathed.

GALLERY: ERISA timeline

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Since ERISA was enacted 40 years ago, lawmakers have made numerous changes to the statute. This slideshow chronicles some key revisions and amendments.

Register for Business Insurance's Workers Comp & Safety Virtual Conference

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

From opioid management to keeping an aging workforce safe and healthy, industry experts will advise attendees on strategies and solutions to control their workers compensation costs during Business Insurance's fifth annual Workers Comp & Safety Virtual Conference.

Surety bond sector strengthens on rebounding construction industry

By: Matthew Lerner

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

The surety bond sector looks to register its second consecutive year of growth, led by the private construction sector as the economy slowly improves.

Reclassification of opioid painkillers may boost workers compensation costs

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Tighter controls on opioid prescription painkillers issued by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration last month may increase workers compensation costs in the short term, but over the long term they could help reduce overuse of opioids.

Congress could delay passage of TRIA renewal bill past November elections

By: Mark A. Hofmann

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Passage of a bill that would extend the federal terrorism insurance backstop could be pushed into a lame-duck session following the November elections.

NLRB ruling that McDonald's is joint employer could increase franchising risks

By: Judy Greenwald

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

A determination by the National Labor Relations Board's general counsel that McDonald's Corp. should be considered a “joint employer” with its franchisees.

Courts and NLRB may dispute franchisors' liability for years

By: Judy Greenwald

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

It may take years to resolve whether franchisors can be considered joint employers with their franchisees.

Employers want unbiased advice on private health care exchanges

By: Matt Dunning

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

As private health insurance exchanges evolve, some benefits consultants are trying to distinguish themselves as unbiased advisers in a marketplace dominated by companies offering advisory services alongside their own branded exchange products.

Brokers with private health exchanges strive to maintain unbiased stance

By: Matt Dunning

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Several brokers have positioned themselves as objective consultants within the private health insurance exchange marketplace, despite having their own exchanges.

COMMENTARY: Wellness programs should address sleep disorders

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

As employers review their wellness programs, they should consider addressing a problem suffered by millions of Americans that is contributing to health disorders, weight gain, lost productivity and motor vehicle accidents.

OPINION: Reflections on ERISA's 40th anniversary

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Anniversaries are times for reflection. With the 40th anniversary this week of the signing of the first and still most significant pension reform legislation — the Employee Retirement Income Security Act — we have a few thoughts on the law. Forty years after ERISA's passage, as we report on page 1, the law's successes are striking. ERISA's creation of a federal pension insurance...

Reinsurers look to Southeast Asia for growth opportunities

By: J. Nils Wright

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Reinsurance buyers in Southeast Asia continue to benefit from soft rates as reinsurers target the region's fast-growing economies.

Reinsurer mergers and acquisitions likely to rise on softening market

By: Douglas McLeod

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

The reinsurance industry is likely to see more mergers and acquisitions in the coming months as firms seek to grow in a generally soft market and put excess capital to work.

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