Administrative Law Judge Accepts Legality Of Union Entities Claiming Exception To California Department Of Insurance Oversight

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A California Department of Insurance Administrative Judge has created historic legal standing for all Entities Claiming Exception (ECE) (unions whose benefit programs are written into bona fide collective bargaining agreements) to offer employee benefit programs to their members.

Labor Union, Workers Comp Benefits, California Department of Insurance

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"To date, American Labor Alliance has consistently provided superior claims processing, payments, safety services, mental health and medical treatments for workers currently totaling over $3 million dollars."

After deliberating for over nine months following the administrative hearing granted to American Labor Alliance regarding the international union’s right to offer workers’ compensation and other employee benefits in California, Administrative Law Judge Kristin Rossi of the state’s Department of Insurance has issued a long-expected decision finding that American Labor Alliance should be considered a Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement that is not protected by the Federal ERISA pre-emption that allows union benefit programs to be operated without requiring authority from state insurance agencies.

The administrative judge, who is employed by the California Department of Insurance, based her finding upon a limited analysis of only six employers whose employees at some point were potential recipients workers’ compensation benefits through American Labor Alliance’s CompOne benefit program. In doing so, she disregarded several hundred examples of other participating employers who had signed collective bargaining agreements with the union on behalf of their employees.

By making this distinction the basis of her decision, Ms. Rossi has created historic legal standing for all Entities Claiming Exception (ECE) (unions whose benefit programs are written into bona fide collective bargaining agreements) to offer employee benefit programs. The California Department of Insurance had, prior to this ruling, refused to recognize the validity of ECEs.

American Labor Alliance will immediately be filing Notice of Appeal of the decision in their choice of state or Federal court, where the union expects to provide extensive evidence of its status as an ECE and not a MEWA, and its eligibility for protection from state regulation under Federal ERISA law. “This decision was not unexpected,” said ALA’s lead litigation attorney, Charles Manock. “We will move quickly on the appeal.”

American Labor Alliance has consistently cooperated with Federal and state agencies throughout a multitude of inquiries over the past five years, as their membership of participating employees has reached seasonal levels of as high as 30,000 across several hundred employers.

To date, American Labor Alliance has consistently provided superior claims processing, payments, safety services, mental health and medical treatments for workers currently totaling over $3 million dollars and is committed to enforcing in Federal court its right to organize workers and to provide benefit services to its members and will use all legal means necessary to defend its reputation and service model as well as the reputations and business relationships of its partners and members.

American Labor Alliance looks forward to addressing any issues raised by all government agencies and maintains that all activities of American Labor Alliance to provide services to its members are lawful and in compliance with state and Federal laws.

American Labor Alliance is a national and international 501(c)(5) labor organization providing a wide variety of benefits and business services to over 7,000 members and their employers since 2006.

For more information and all questions contact:

Charles Manock
Manock Law Offices
448 W Shaw Ave
Fresno, California 93704
cmanock(at)manocklaw.com
(559) 696-4397 mobile
(559) 433-9000 office

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Kanya Ellington

Antonio Gastelum
CompOneUSA
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