News & Events

Thursday, August 20th

Webinars & Other Updates: August 20, 2020

Upcoming Webinars

Heat Illness Prevention
Presented by: State Fund
Recorded Webinar…View Anytime!

Talk about a heat wave! As temperatures rise, so does the risk of heat illness. California employers with any outdoor places of employment must comply with the Heat Illness Prevention standard. Due to the current state restrictions, many more employees may be working outdoors and might not be aware of the risks that can come with the heat.

Check out this webinar recording from State Compensation Insurance Fund to learn how to protect your employees from heat illness when working outdoors and maintain Cal/OSHA compliance.

Topics covered include:

  • Ways of preventing heat illness in outdoor workers
  • Signs and symptoms of heat illness and appropriate first aid/emergency response
  • The requirements of Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention Standard, T8CCR Section 3395
  • What Cal/OSHA requires employers to include in a written Heat Illness Prevention Plan
  • Common Cal/OSHA citations related to work outdoors in the heat

More information can also be found via the Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention eTool:

Plan and Prepare for Q4:Retail, Restaurants, and Health & Wellness
Presented by: Cal Poly CIE Small Business Development Center
August 25, 2020 | 9:00 am – 11:00 am PST

As the biggest revenue-making quarter of the year approaches, we are bringing together experts in strategy and digital marketing to make sure your business is ready for the upcoming holiday season.

  • 9 am – 10:05 am General Session
  • 10:05 am -10:10 am Break
  • 10:10 am -11:00 am Industry Break Out Sessions

This workshop is led by Lani Lott, expert consultant in economic revitalization and Steve Burnside, a digital marketing specialist.
Lott will lay out the “Road Map to Prepare for the Holiday Season,” including customer outreach strategies and the importance of collaborating with fellow business owners. Burnside will discuss in-practice tools and platforms to digitally market strategies. Receive a valuable policy and regulation update from Downtown SLO and participate in breakout sessions, specific to your industry.

The registration fee for this workshop is $10/person

Other Information and Updates

California Wildfire Smoke Regulations

As if the heat wasn’t enough, the smoke produced by nearby wildfires is now adding another level of concern for outdoor workers.

State Fund has provided information regarding Cal/OSHA requirements and other steps that can be taken to help protect yourself and your employees against wildfire smoke exposure.

You can also visit to check and monitor air quality.

If you have questions regarding safety compliance as a result of impaired air quality, please email our Loss Control Analyst, Michael Schedler at

Stay up-to-date with CDC Guidance

It is important to monitor your new safety practices and procedures for necessary changes, but staying up to date with the changing CDC guidance can be difficult.

For example, did you know the CDC made recent updates to when a person can discontinue home isolation?

Sign up for regular CDC newsletter updates by clicking the button below. Enter “COVID-19” in the search bar for applicable newsletters.

REMINDER: SLO City Small Business Relief Fund

Applications for the SLO CIty Small Business Relief Fund will be accepted until 5 pm on Monday, August 24. All for-profit businesses in the City of SLO are invited to review the eligibility criteria and apply. Applicants are eligible to receive a grant of $5,000 to help fill immediate financial gaps until they can resume normal operations.

Recipients will be notified of possible funding in mid-September. 

REMINDER: Paso Robles COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program

The deadline to apply for the Paso Robles COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program is August 23, 2020 with grant recipients being notified and funds allocated by mid to late September.

The program will assist 10 to 20 small businesses with micro-grants of up to $10,000 in one-time financial assistance for the purpose of relieving some of the costs caused by required closures/business interruption due to COVID-19. 

Businesses headquartered in the city of Paso Robles are invited to review the eligibility criteria and apply.

Wednesday, July 8th

SLO Office Open by Appointment

As our state and counties continue to advance through the reopening stages, we want to provide an update on the steps that Morris & Garritano is taking to ensure the safety of both our clients and employees while continuing to provide the services and assistance you rely on.

Our Offices and Employees
Starting July 8th, our San Luis Obispo office will be open by appointment only. While our staff is gradually returning to the office, many of our employees will still work remotely. We will continue to meet and communicate with you as we have through telephone and videoconference. Accommodations are available in our office to help facilitate meetings with a remote employee if needed. We ask that you reach out to your Advisor or Account Manager at 805-543-6887 to schedule a meeting. At this time, our Santa Maria office will remain closed to the public, but we will update you on any changes in the coming weeks. 

Safety and Cleanliness
We have made adjustments to our SLO office to allow for social distancing and remain diligent with our cleaning practices. We kindly ask that employees and visitors wear a mask while visiting our office. Single-use masks will be available for those who need them.

As time progresses, we will adjust these safety measures accordingly and will continue to communicate any changes with you as we have over the last few months. Responding to the needs of our clients remains a top priority and we appreciate your understanding as we adjust our operations to best serve you in this new environment.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you,

Morris & Garritano

Friday, June 26th

WCIRB Update: Eff. July 1, 2020

Insurance Commissioner issues Order resulting in workers’ compensation premium savings for California businesses affected by COVID-19

The order adopts emergency regulatory changes developed by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) effective July 1, 2020 to be applied retroactively. The Commissioner’s action mandates workers’ compensation carriers reflect in premiums the reduced risk of loss due to “stay-at-home” orders. 

The official notice from the Department of Insurance can be viewed here

The below video links will provide an overview of the notable amendments, but you can also visit the WCIRB’s full reference page for more information.

We encourage you to consider these changes as you assess the impact of COVID-19 to your estimated annual payroll (if on recurring billing), actual payroll (if billed on a reporting basis), or recent audit if applicable.

If you have questions, concerns, or need to make an adjustment to your policy, please feel free to contact your Risk Advisor or Account Manager for further assistance.

Uniform Statistical Reporting Plan

Experience Reporting Plan

Exclusion of COVID-19 Claims from Experience Modification
Section VI, Rating Procedure, Rule 2, Actual Losses and Actual Primary (Ap) Losses, was amended to specify that all claims directly arising from a diagnosis of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) shall not be reflected in the computation of an experience modification.

Tuesday, June 16th

Work Comp Webinar: AB5, Who is an Employee?

Do you work with or hire Independent Contractors?

If so, you won’t want to miss this webinar offered by State Fund. The webinar is designed to help you have a better understanding of Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) and the changes that have been made in determining employee status in California.

Experts will discuss what impact it may have on you, your business, and most importantly, what you can do now to prepare for the changes that will take effect on July 1, 2020 as it relates to your workers’ compensation coverage.

Not a State Fund policyholder? Not a problem, this webinar is open to the public.

Topics to be covered include:

• The Dynamex Supreme Court Decision
• New “ABC” Test• Prior Test – Borello
• Exemptions to the “ABC” Test
• New Labor Code Section 2750.3
• Potential Impact of AB5

Register here:

Friday, June 5th

Return to Work Resources

We are all eager to reopen our doors, but understand we also have a responsibility to do so safely – both for our customers and our employees. While there are numerous guidelines, updates, and best-practices available, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.

Our Return to Work page offers a comprehensive collection of links to workplace safety and human resource guidance material and templates.

It also includes a step-by-step video that will help California businesses navigate Industry Guidelines within the Resilience Roadmap so that you can feel confident in your next steps and focus on getting back to business.

We will continue to update this page, as well as our COVID-19 Resource Page as new developments and information is made available. If you have questions or would like further assistance, please reach out to your Account Manger or Risk Advisor.

Friday, March 6th

Coronavirus in the Workplace

As the coronavirus (COVID-19), as well as the media coverage surrounding it, continues to spread, we are receiving many questions from clients wondering what they can do to keep their employees safe as well as what is required of them from a liability stand point. To help, we have compiled the following information and resources.

Can coronavirus become a Work Comp claim?

Yes, if an employee contracts the virus during the scope or course of their job duties. For example, employers may be responsible in the following situations:

  • An employee travels or works overseas and contracts the illness.
  • An employee contracts the virus and infects coworkers in the office or on the job site.
  • An employee is assigned to work in a location with infected individuals and becomes infected.

In these scenarios, a Work Comp policy will typically cover lost time, permanent disability, medical expenses, and a death benefit as a result of the coronavirus.

What are my legal obligations as an employer?

Employers are obligated to maintain a safe and healthy work environment for their employees, but are also subject to a number of legal requirements protecting workers. For example, employers must comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in their approach to dealing with COVID-19. (see HR Compliance Bulletin for more detailed information)

Will our benefits plan cover a coronavirus diagnosis?

While the specific coverages will be dependent on the individual’s plan benefits, most health plans will cover the care an employee would receive if diagnosed with coronavirus, unless otherwise determined by state law or regulation. However, they will still be responsible for any out-of-pocket expenses that their plan requires.

Please view our Carrier Resources for Coronavirus t o see what benefits and resources your specific carrier is providing. For many carriers, utilizing their Telemedicine services is the best first step if you are concerned about symptoms.

Steps you can take to protect and prevent

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a dedicated website providing information to businesses and employers. The following actions are recommended:

  • Encourage sick employees to stay home
  • Be more flexible with your sick leave policies
  • Educate employees on preventive measures
  • Keep a good stock of supplies such as tissues, hand sanitizer, and soap
  • Perform routine cleaning of frequently touched areas
  • Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps. If employees are required to travel for business, stay up to date on the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for guidance.

Helpful Materials & Resources

OSHA Safety & Health Topics
CDC: Coronavirus Disease 2019
World Health Organization: Advice for the Public
EDD: Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)

Friday, February 28th

February 2020 Newsletter

Happy Leap Year! What should you do with an extra day in February? How about catching up with our newsletter! Watch our video about the benefits of Telemedicine, how to address the coronavirus with your employees, and learn how we can help you navigate through the claims process.

Thursday, February 20th

Featured Benefits Video: Telemedicine

Need urgent medical or mental health care? Why not consider Telemedicine? 

Qualified online doctors and mental health professionals are now readily available from the comfort of your home. These services are usually covered by insurance for no or low cost copays and include quick, easy access to expert medical and mental health advice and prescriptions .

Watch our quick educational video, Telemedicine, to learn more.

This video is also available in Spanish, Telemedicina.

For more educational videos on employee benefits and healthcare, check out our full Benefits Video Library, in both English and Spanish.

Friday, January 24th

January 2020 Newsletter

Happy 2020! This month we are sharing some great learning events that are coming up and plenty of information to refresh your insurance knowledge to ensure that you start the year off right!

Wednesday, January 22nd

Featured Benefits Video: COBRA

What in the world is COBRA?

Well, it’s not about dangerous snakes, but it is important to you and your family. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act – COBRA for short – protects your right to keep your health, dental, and vision coverage between jobs or in other unforeseen circumstances.

Watch our quick educational video, COBRA Insurance,to understand how it works and how it could protect your family.

This video is also available in Spanish, Seguro COBRA.

For more educational videos on employee benefits and healthcare, check out our full Benefits Video Library, in both English and Spanish.