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May 17, 2024

CIAB: Premium Increases Flat to Down Q1 2024

Premium increase moderation continued this quarter, with premiums across all account sizes increasing by 7.7%, slightly up from the previous quarter’s 7.0%. It was the 26th consecutive quarter of increases. Moderation was clearer when looking at individual commercial lines. All lines recorded premium increases flat or down from the previous quarter, with the single exception of commercial auto. Workers compensation and D&O premiums decreased by an average of -1.8% and -0.8%, respectively. Commercial property premiums increased by an average of 10.1%, lower than 11.8% in Q4 2023, but difficulties with that line continued, according to respondents. One respondent described placing the line in general as “almost impossible,” with other responses highlighting stricter underwriting, the amount of detail required in submissions, and the push for property value increases as the main challenges. Commercial auto premiums increased by an average of 9.8%, compared to 7.3% last quarter. Experts suggest high vehicle repair costs due to inflation and supply chain woes, the increase in nuclear verdicts for auto accidents and a shortage of experienced truck drivers have all contributed to issues with the line. P/C Survey data also shows a steady increase in the number of respondents reporting an increase in commercial auto claims, which would contribute to premium pricing as well. D&O decreases seem to be due to an excess of capacity—survey data shows the number of respondents reporting an increase in capacity for the line doubled between Q4 2023 and Q1 2024—meeting a lack of demand. AM Best points to a slowdown in the courts and less M&A activity, while S&P data shows the number of initial public offerings (IPOs) has fallen steeply from 906 in 2021 to just 102 in all of 2023, translating to less demand for D&O insurance.    
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May 17, 2024

Cyber Insurance Premium Growth Levels Off for U.S. P/C Insurers

Cyber again generated strong profits for U.S. property/casualty (P/C) insurers last year, Fitch Ratings says in its latest market update report, but weaker pricing led to the first decline in direct cyber written premiums since cyber-specific premium data were included in statutory financial statements. Cyber demand for coverage remains strong amid an evolving risk environment. However, U.S. direct cyber written premiums fell 1% in 2023, this change follows a 160% increase in volume from 2020-2022. Standalone cyber policy written premium declined by 3% in 2023, while premiums for package coverage increased by 5%. ‘Expansion in demand for cyber protection and P/C insurers’ expertise in risk mitigation and claims management has promoted strong growth in cyber insurance.’ said Managing Director Jim Auden. ‘However, market concentration has become diluted as more insurers enter the cyber market attracted by longer-term growth opportunities,’ Cyber insurance coverage generated significant underwriting profit for the second consecutive year in 2023 as the industry direct loss plus defense & cost containment ratio for standalone cyber insurance marginally increased to 44% in 2023 from 43%, according to statutory financial data. Global insurance broker Marsh indicates that US cyber renewal premium rates declined by 6% in the latest quarter. Further price deterioration will continue to promote weaker underwriting performance going forward. ‘Underwriters risk management practices continue to improve, but large incidences of data breaches, business e-mail compromises and ransomware attacks continue to present a long-term threat,’ said Senior Director Gerry Glombicki. ‘Cyber loss risk is also affected by expansion in regulatory and compliance requirements that increase potential for litigation risks and substantial fines and penalties for not properly disclosing data breaches.’  
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May 17, 2024

Four Dead, Thousands without Power Following Severe Storm in Houston

Hurricane-strength winds unexpectedly blew through Houston Thursday, leaving four dead, hundreds of thousands without power and the country’s fourth-largest city scrambling to repair damage.

Mayor John Whitmire confirmed the deaths and “some twisters” and told reporters Houstonians should all stay home Friday if they are nonessential workers. Local schools were closed until Monday. Falling trees and a crane accident appeared to cause three of the deaths, emergency officials said.

“We’re still in recovery mode,” Whitmire said. “We had a storm with 100 mile-per-hour winds, the equivalent of Hurricane Ike, considerable damage downtown, glass.”

Trees were down across the city, most traffic lights were out and many residents were without electricity. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the county’s elected executive, said on X that the debris looked significant, and crews worked through the night to try to clear major thoroughfares. Some 1,500 mutual assistance crews were traveling to the area to help restore power, she said.

On Friday morning, there were more than 785,000 people without power in the Houston area, according to poweroutage.us. There were also nearly 116,000 without power in Louisiana.

Broken glass, tree branches and insulation from the inside of buildings cluttered the streets of downtown Houston on Friday morning as crews and janitorial staff hurried to clean up the area.

Kris Larson, president and chief executive of Downtown Houston +, an organization of business leaders, was busy sweeping glass off the streets alongside some of his crews. Larson said the storm’s intensity caught everyone off guard.

“It was a normal Thursday afternoon, and then suddenly an hour later, massive storm,” Larson said. “But we know how to manage these kinds of situations.”

Larson estimated that it would take days to completely clean up the damage in downtown Houston. Dozens of contractors were on their way to help clean up, he said.

At Houston’s Bush International Airport, there was a small number of delayed flights after 103 cancellations on Thursday, according to FlightAware, a flight-tracking site.

The storm came after rain doused East Texas in recent weeks, flooding homes, washing out roads and pushing reservoirs to capacity. Forecasters earlier this week warned that more rain could create a “nightmare scenario.”

Matt Lanza, a Houston meteorologist and managing editor of the website Space City Weather, wrote that emergency preparation had been so focused on the threat of heavy rain that the wind danger came as a secondary surprise. In the evening, he began to see a velocity signature on radar that he had never seen before, pointing to a violent tornado or likely destructive winds. It escalated to one of the most ferocious storms he has seen, he said.

“I’ll close with a bit of a sobering note: Hurricane season begins in about 2 weeks,” Lanza wrote. “We know a lot about flooding. Most of us know about surge. Very few knew about wind and what it’s really like. Many do now. Use this experience.”

Noah Johnson was walking in the Houston neighborhood of East Downtown toward a light-rail station when the storm winds and rains suddenly picked up.

The 43-year-old said he ran into a Burger King to take shelter with five other people as the street lost power.

“The storm was stronger than I expected,” Johnson said.

The storm was over as quickly but the fast-food restaurant remained without power, Johnson recalled as he surveyed the damage downtown Friday.

“It sucks because I really wanted some onion rings,” said Johnson with a smile.

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May 17, 2024

North Carolina Insurance Mogul Lindberg Found Guilty in Federal Bribery Retrial

A federal jury once again convicted North Carolina insurance executive Greg Lindberg of trying to bribe Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey for favorable regulatory rulings following a second trial, according to court documents. States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina on May 15 found Lindberg and fellow defendant John D. Gray guilty of wire fraud and bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds and aiding and abetting, according to court documents. Causey in January 2018 reported to federal law enforcement that Lindberg and Gray offered millions in political contributions in a manner designed to avoid public disclosure, according to records. Gray earlier tried unsuccessfully to have the retrials severed. He then cooperated with the investigation and even wore a wire, according to documents. Lindberg, the billionaire founder and chairman of Eli Global LLC and the owner of Global Bankers Insurance Group, and Lindberg’s consultant, Gray, were earlier found guilty of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds. Two years after being sentenced, a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Lindberg and Gray were not given a fair trial and said they must be tried again.

Lindberg also is facing federal fraud charges and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charges that he and an associate defrauded advisory clients of $75 million. In addition, he is fighting efforts by the North Carolina Department of Insurance to distribute funds from insurance companies in rehabilitation back to investors.

The North Carolina Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court decision to move forward with liquidating two of the insurance companies operated by Lindberg that regulators put into rehabilitation in 2019.

Causey in 2021 found the companies, Banker's Life Insurance Co. and Colorado Bankers Life Insurance Co., had no hope of rehabilitation and filed a petition to liquidate them. At the time of the petition, Bankers Life had liabilities that exceeded its assets by about $92 million and for Colorado Bankers, liabilities that exceeded assets by about $114 million, appeals court Judge Julee Flood wrote.

   
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May 17, 2024

Swiss Re Posts $1.1B Net Income in Q1 2024

Swiss Re on Thursday reported a net income of $1.1 billion or $3.76 per share for the first quarter of 2024. Insurance revenue for the period from January to March was $11.7 billion, the company said. As the company reported results based on the International Financial Reporting Standards or IFRS for the first time, the result is not comparable to the same period in 2023, Swiss Re said in a statement. Swiss Re’s chief executive Christian Mumenthaler said that the strong earnings in the first quarter have given the company a positive start to the year as it continues to focus on 2024 targets, including a net income of more than $3.6 billion. Swiss Re said it plans to withdraw from the iptiQ digital insurance business and will consider options for the different entities in a manner and timeframe that maximizes value for the group. In a separate press release, Swiss Re said that Ivan Gonzalez, chief executive at Reinsurance China, has been appointed chief executive Corporate Solutions, succeeding Andreas Berger as of July 1. He will join the group executive committee at the same time. Gonzalez is currently the chief executive at Reinsurance China and China Country President, responsible for both Property & Casualty and Life & Health businesses in the country. Before that, he led the Corporate Solutions Business Unit in the Americas, managing North America from 2017 until 2021, and Latin America from 2011 until 2016. Moses Ojeisekhoba, chief executive Global Clients and Solutions, will step down from his position on August 31 and pursue opportunities outside of Swiss Re.
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May 17, 2024

IBC: Canadian Auto Theft Losses Accelerate to $1.1B; Luxury Cars Popular Target

Stolen vehicle insured losses accelerated to C$1.5 billion ($1.1 billion) for most Canadian provinces in 2023, compared with C$1.3 billion in losses a year earlier, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada. Claims severity is outpacing frequency. Policyholders filed 49,679 claims for stolen vehicles last year, up 10% from the prior year, while the cost of those claims rose 19%. IBC Strategy Vice President Liam McGuinty in a statement called the rising thefts a crisis that is pressuring insurance premiums. “Attention needs to be paid to modernizing Canada's outdated vehicle safety standards, which were last updated in 2007, and stopping the outflow of stolen vehicles from Canada's ports,” he said. The IBC said new, high-end luxury vehicles are often lucrative targets, due in part to demand from illegal international markets. “In many cases, stolen vehicles are exported” by domestic and international criminal organizations that fund further illegal activity such as drug trafficking, arms dealing and international terrorism with stolen car proceeds, the association said in a statement. Over the five-year period ending in 2023, automobile theft claims counts increased 56% while losses jumped 254%, according to an IBC analysis that excludes Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The IBC said data for the two provinces was unavailable.

The rate of increase was even higher in Ontario, where the IBC said claims costs rose 524% since 2018, to more than C$1 billion.

"IBC recognizes the efforts undertaken by governments to date to fight auto theft, but more needs to be done, including at the national level. Our industry remains committed to working alongside all levels of government and stakeholders," McGuinty said. "Insurers have taken proactive steps to help consumers combat auto theft, but they can't do it alone,” he said. In the United States, the number of vehicles reported stolen last year increased about 1% to 1.01 million, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Kia and Hyundai vehicles experienced the highest theft rates in 2023 in the United States, likely because social media highlighted vulnerability to theft in various models, the NICB said. Sixty-five automobile insurers filed a complaint last year seeking reimbursement from the two auto manufacturers and their U.S. businesses for claims filed by policyholders whose cars are “dangerously easy to rapidly steal,” because they lack theft-deterring engine immobilizing software. Theft rates climbed when viral social media videos — including a Kia Boyz challenge — exposed the security flaw. Kia and Hyundai then rolled out free software updates intended to lessen the ease of theft of millions of key-start vehicles lacking the immobilizers.  
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May 16, 2024

U.S. P&C Underwriting Losses Narrow as Key Lines Still Struggle

U.S. property and casualty insurers overall saw better underwriting results in 2023, but performance worsened in certain important business lines, according to an analysis by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The property and casualty (P&C) industry's overall net combined ratio declined to 101.7% in 2023 from 102.5% a year ago. Better underwriting results within private auto insurance contributed to that small underwriting improvement while commercial auto, several commercial liability lines and homeowners reported year-over-year deterioration in their combined ratios. The combined ratio for the industry's personal business lines, which include private auto, homeowners and farmowners insurance, came in at 106.7%, an improvement from 109.9% in 2022. Commercial lines posted a net combined ratio of 96.2% in 2023, up about 1.5 percentage points year over year. Personal lines After a historically poor year in 2022, underwriting performance of private auto insurers improved by about 7 percentage points in 2023 to 104.9% thanks to higher premium rates and expense reductions. Homeowners insurers posted their worst net combined ratio in at least a decade, at 110.9% in 2023. While a mild hurricane season gave Florida homeowners insurers a reprieve, those in Hawaii were impacted by a devastating wildfire. Aon PLC in its 2024 Climate and Catastrophe Insight report estimated losses of $3.5 billion from the Hawaiian fires. The US also experienced a record-setting year in 2023, with 21 billion-dollar insured loss events due to convective storms. Overall, convective storms racked up $58 billion in insured losses. The segment's combined ratio was significantly worse than the last 10 years' previous high of 107.2% in 2017 when several major hurricanes battered multiple parts of the Atlantic Coast and wildfires raged in California. Commercial lines Four commercial liability business lines recorded worse combined ratios year over year. The long-tailed casualty business has been impacted by social inflation in recent years as increased litigation costs, plaintiff-friendly judgments and higher jury awards increased insurers' claims severity. Product liability reported the largest year-over-year deterioration of the four selected as-reported lines of business: commercial multiperil (liability), medical professional, product and other. The line reported a combined ratio of 100.0% compared to 89.3% in 2022. Commercial multiperil and medical professional liabilities lines reported combined ratios of about 110% in 2023. The commercial auto liability (other commercial auto liability and commercial auto no-fault) line of business also reported worsening results. The aggregated commercial auto liability lines combined ratio rose to 113.3% in 2023, its highest level since 2019. The net combined ratio of commercial auto physical damage coverage actually improved by nearly 4 percentage points, declining to 96.1% in 2023. Deteriorating results in commercial auto liability pushed the total commercial auto business line's combined ratio up to 109.2% in 2023, marking the ninth year out of the last 10 that the commercial auto sector posted underwriting losses. The only year of underwriting profitability in the last decade was 2021, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.      
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May 16, 2024

Berkshire Hathaway Reveals $6.7B Investment in Chubb Stock

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has purchased nearly 26 million shares of Chubb Ltd. stock, totaling just over $6.7 billion, the company revealed in a regulatory filing. The filing was previously given confidential treatment by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, but that status is no longer warranted because the company is reporting it as part of its March 31 holdings, the company said in an SEC filing. During the company's recent annual shareholder meeting, Ajit Jain, Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman of insurance operations, said the company wouldn't jump on cyber insurance until it had "enough data to hang its hat on". When you write insurance, you have to think about how much you can lose, added company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Warren Buffet said at the time. In the case of cyber, you “may get an aggregation of risk that’s worse than some earthquake happening.” Chubb's first-quarter net income rose to $2.14 billion from $1.89 billion a year ago. Consolidated net premiums written rose to $12.22 billion from $10.71 billion. The property/casualty combined ratio improved to 86.0 from 86.3. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. operating insurance entities currently have a Best’s Financial Strength Rating of A++ (Superior) to A- (Excellent). Underwriting entities of Chubb Ltd. have current Best's Financial Strength Ratings ranging from A++ (Superior) to A- (Excellent).    
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May 16, 2024

U.S. Lawmakers Seek $32B to Keep American AI Ahead of China

A bipartisan group of senators, including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, on Wednesday called on Congress to approve $32 billion in funding for artificial intelligence research to keep the U.S. ahead of China in the powerful technology. The senators, including Republicans Mike Rounds and Todd Young and Democrat Martin Heinrich, announced the goal as part of a legislative roadmap to address the promises and perils of AI. If China is "going to invest $50 billion, and we're going to invest in nothing, they'll inevitably get ahead of us. So that's why even these investments are so important," Schumer said Wednesday. The roadmap could help the U.S. address mounting worries about China's advances in AI. Washington fears Beijing could use it to meddle in other countries' elections, create bioweapons or launch muscular cyberattacks. U.S. officials flagged concerns over China's "misuse" of artificial intelligence in their first formal bilateral talks on the issue this week. Reuters reported this month that President Joe Biden's administration is poised to open a new front in its effort to safeguard U.S. AI from China and Russia. "This is a time in which the dollars related to this particular investment will pay dividends to the taxpayers of this country long term," Rounds said. "China now spends probably about 10 times more than we do on AI development. They are in a hurry." The funding would cover non-defense uses of AI, the lawmakers said. Senators are still considering how much Congress should dedicate to defense-related AI, "but it's going to be a very large number," Schumer added. Senators called for Congress to fund cross-government AI research and development including an all-of-government "AI-ready data" initiative and government AI testing and evaluation infrastructure. They also called for more money for the Commerce Department's export control division, which has barred the export of some advanced AI chips and tools to make them to China. The Biden administration and lawmakers have sought AI legislation but made little headway. The administration is separately moving to adopt rules. Schumer said he hoped Congress would pass some legislation by year-end.    
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May 16, 2024

New INSTANDA, UnderwriteMe Collaboration Enables Greater Scalability, Agility and Reach for Life Insurers

INSTANDA, the global provider of no-code insurance platform technology, today announces an integration with UnderwriteMe, a comprehensive SaaS underwriting platform provider for the life insurance industry. The collaboration will allow clients to implement INSTANDA’s distribution and policy administration platform while benefiting from best-in-class underwriting automation through UnderwriteMe across international markets. The combination of INSTANDA’s no-code core platform and UnderwriteMe’s advanced underwriting technology provides the life insurance market with an integrated offering that streamlines distribution channels and enhances operational efficiencies. This new integration will be available in four markets: North America, UK & Ireland, ANZ and Asia helping to solve problems unique to each region. With the incorporation of INSTANDA’s no-code platform, insurers can reach markets with greater speed, ease and confidence. The scalable simplicity provided by INSTANDA invites and encourages users to transform their life insurance offerings to attract and place new business quickly, conveniently and efficiently. “INSTANDA’s bold ambition is to transform insurance using our no-code core platform to create better outcomes for the end consumer,” explained Tim Hardcastle, co-founder and CEO of INSTANDA. “Our partnership with UnderwriteMe will allow us to successfully collaborate with modern and progressive insurers across the globe – giving them the tools to create new efficiencies and cutting-edge underwriting while also playing an important role in accelerating the expansion of our life and health proposition.” Both companies acknowledge this new collaboration will afford forward-thinking insurance carriers avenues to reduce their total cost of ownership on technology while enabling greater agility in decision making to ultimately benefit consumers. Given the ongoing talent gap in insurance and technology, this integration can play an important role in easing the burden. “We are excited to collaborate with INSTANDA and, through the integration of their product with ours, help more insurers make the move towards greater digitization,” said James Tait, CEO of UnderwriteMe. “The integration means life insurers can better access and deploy the latest tools, techniques and data that will transform underwriting automation as we know it, regardless of where they are in the world, their size and scale and product suite.” About INSTANDA INSTANDA offers a complete digital platform for innovative insurers. Whether digitizing your entire business, or launching a new innovative product, INSTANDA provides everything you need to transform your value offering for the modern world. Visit http://www.instanda.com/us to find out how we help insurers deliver unparalleled value for their clients. About UnderwriteMe: UnderwriteMe provides technology products that enable our partners to transform and disrupt the life insurance industry worldwide. Founded in 2012, our journey started with the Underwriting Engine and Protection Platform in the UK. We have grown to become a leading InsurTech provider across Europe, Asia, Australia and North America with an expanding product portfolio. UnderwriteMe was named Best New Partnership at the 2023 UK COVER Customer Care Awards and won the UK Protection Review Innovation Awards in 2023. In addition UnderwriteMe’s technology continues to be rated number one in Asia, by NMG for overall quality, adaptability and content configuration.    
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May 16, 2024

Gen Z Is Lying to Insurance Companies

Gen Z isn't above lying to insurance companies to get better rates, and they feel the least guilty about it. In NerdWallet's 2024 Insurance Dishonesty Report, younger Americans were significantly more likely to say insurance lies are acceptable. Altogether, around one in five, or 21 percent, of Americans admitted to intentionally providing incorrect information on an insurance application, and Gen Z-ers were leading the pack. The generation, which entails those aged 18 to 27, saw 42 percent admit to lying on insurance applications. That was a big jump from millennials, who only lied 28 percent of the time. Meanwhile, Gen X and Baby Boomers had significantly lower rates of lying at 17 and 6 percent respectively. Most of the survey respondents who indicated they lied on their insurance applications did so for financial reasons, with 45 percent saying it's because they want to save money and 38 percent saying they lied because rates have increased too much. "It may not seem like a big deal to lie on an insurance application, but doing so can come with unexpected consequences that can potentially impact your and your family's well-being," said Melissa Lambarena, a personal finance expert and writer at NerdWallet, in a statement. "Instead, find savings by asking your insurance provider about potential discounts, and shop around for better rates." Not every lie was created equal, however. Gen Z, and those lying on insurance more broadly, said lying about the number of miles you drive yearly was okay 19 percent of the time. But less were in favor of lying about smoking tobacco (15 percent) or health data (14 percent). Around 23 percent of men said it was acceptable to lie about the number of miles they drive each year to get lower rates, while only 15 percent of women said the same. Altogether, the numbers may reflect an ongoing car insurance crisis that is slowly pushing more and more Americans to drive on the road without insurance. Roughly 17 percent said it was fine to lie because they wouldn't be able to get coverage otherwise. Many might believe there are little to no consequences for lying about their lifestyles on the insurance forms, but doing so can put you at risk of your application being rejected or even criminal charges, depending on how severe your lie is. "Lying in an insurance policy introduces a world of hurt," insuranceQuotes.com analyst Michael Giusti told Newsweek. "You don't want to go down that road, even if it may mean saving a little coin on the premiums." Nationally, the survey found 11 percent of Americans don't have insurance, and the latest inflation numbers might show why. The latest consumer price index report showed auto insurance rates climbed 1.8 percent in April. "While you might be tempted to lie if it means getting a lower rate, it's not worth the potential risks if you get caught," says Lambarena. There might be larger ramifications to lying on your insurance application as well. Kevin Thompson, a finance expert and the founder/CEO of 9i Capital Group, said actuaries will begin to calculate the actual price of insurance based on more applicants lying if the trend continues. "If it is determined that a large cohort of the individuals may be presenting false information, that new fact will be passed through all people in that cohort being insured, and prices will increase across the board," Thompson told Newsweek.        
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May 15, 2024

18 States Challenge EEOC Guidance on Harassment Based on Gender Identity

Tennessee — along with 17 other states — filed a lawsuit Monday against the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging the agency’s recently released harassment guidance unlawfully expands Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to the complaint, while the agency relies on the Supreme Court’s Bostock v. Clayton County decision to inform its guidance, that decision’s “narrow holding” cannot be applied to “all transgender-related employment issues,” such as pronouns and bathroom use. “EEOC proposed essentially to amend Title VII to create a de facto accommodation for gender identity — even though Bostock did not address the accommodations context,” the plaintiffs alleged. Tennessee’s co-plaintiffs include Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia. In making its argument, Tennessee pointed to a similar, now-vacated technical assistance document promulgated by the EEOC in June 2021 — Protections Against Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity — which also touched on dress codes, pronouns and sex-segregated spaces. That guidance sought to explain the Bostock decision and its implications to employers. Tennessee and 19 other states sought an injunction in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee — the same court now considering its request to halt the harassment guidance — arguing, as in the current case, that the agency misinterpreted the law as provided by Bostock. A judge granted a preliminary injunction for Tennessee and its co-plaintiffs in July 2022, and in a separate case pursued by Texas, a district court vacated the document that October. The new harassment guidance reflects “essentially the same interpretation of Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination set forth in the agency’s vacated 2021 Guidance,” the states argued. “Thus, the Proposed Enforcement Document again attempted to extend Bostock to situations that the Court explicitly declined to ‘prejudge’ — e.g., bathrooms and pronouns — while also proposing to impose liability on employers for the conduct of their customers or other third parties.” In addition to the lawsuit challenging the harassment guidance, Tennessee is also leading an effort joined by many of the same co-plaintiffs to halt an EEOC rule implementing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, specifically challenging its abortion accommodation provisions. A recent burst of rulemaking activity from various agencies appears a probable attempt to avoid the rules’ review and potential dismissal in the next session of Congress under the Congressional Review Act. The effort has led to a similar flurry of lawsuits from states, industry trade groups and employers challenging rules, including a U.S. Department of Labor fiduciary rule and the agency’s new overtime threshold.
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