SAFEGUARDS

Growing BusinessSAFEGUARDS

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  • Employment Practices Liability Insurance

    Game Plan

    In-Depth

    Covers a Broad Range of Employment-Related Claims

    There’s a relationship between the high unemployment numbers seen since the recession—and the big uptick in employee claims registered with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against employers since 2007. During the decade between 1998 and 2007, employee claims averaged under 80,000 per year. Since then, the average has jumped to more than 97,500 annually.

    Employment-related charges that EPLI will generally cover

    The listing below should give you a good idea of the very wide range in complaints that are brought to the EEOC every year. Virtually all of these can be written into a solid EPLI policy for your business. It’s critical that you work with your insurance professional to ensure that your policy covers the risks your business faces.

    • Unlawful or wrongful termination or discipline
    • Sexual harassment in the workplace
    • Sexual discrimination
    • Pregnancy discrimination
    • Age, race, disability, sexual orientation, religious, national origin, and gender discrimination
    • Negligent or unfair employment practices concerning compensation, promotion, and hiring
    • Employment breach of contract
    • Employee benefits mismanagement or denial
    • Invasion of privacy
    • Libel and slander
    • Mental anguish and emotional distress
    • Retaliation. It is illegal to fire, demote, harass, or otherwise “retaliate” against those who file a discrimination charge or have complained in any way about discrimination on the job.
    • GINA. Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 prohibits genetic information discrimination in employment. Employers are prohibited from using genetic information in making employment decisions, and they are restricted from requesting or requiring it.

    Over the past 15 years, the most common complaint registered with the EEOC has been racial discrimination. Since 2010, however, retaliation charges have taken the number-one slot. (Individuals often file more than one charge in a formal filing.) In 2012, 33.7% of claims with the EEOC included a charge of racial discrimination; 38.1% included retaliation. The third most common charge in 2012 was sex discrimination; 30.5% of claims included some form of this.

    Game PlanGame Plan

    Game Plan

    • The best defense against employment-related claims are well-thought-out personnel policies. The Playbook topic “The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC),” provides a four-step process that can help you get started with an EEO compliance strategy for your business.
    • Here’s the EEOC’s main link where employers can learn about federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Be sure to check back frequently—laws do change, and new employment laws are appearing all the time, from the local government level on up.
    • The EEOC makes available small business liaisons to field questions about the laws enforced by EEOC, along with how to comply with those laws in unique workplace situations. To contact the EEOC small business liaison in your region, start here.
    • The Department of Labor enforces more than 180 federal laws. Visit this link to find out more about those that apply to your business.
    • The Playbook article, “Complying with Federal Laws,” gives a broad overview of the federal labor laws designed to prevent workplace harassment and discrimination, as well as the requirements set out by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).