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Employment Practices Liability  

What is Employment Practices Liability Coverage? (EPL)

Protection for the company against damages for events relating to their workforce, including but not limited to; wrongful terminations, harassment, discrimination, defamation and unfair hiring/firing practices; it also provides defense costs associated with responding to employment related lawsuits.

Why Private Companies Should Consider Buying EPL Liability Coverage:

• Employers are facing increasing legal obligations while managing their workforces
• Increased awareness and visibility of employment related lawsuits
• Settlements can have a significant impact on the company’s financial stability
• Cost to defend against employment suits is high regardless of the outcome
• An employment lawsuit, if not handled properly, can cause irreparable harm to a company’s reputation
• Lawsuits based on language in employee handbooks and other written policies and procedures are increasingly common
• Compliance with laws in the workplace is costly, requires expertise, monitoring and training

"Commercial General Liability policies are not adequate to respond to EPL Matters".

Employment Practices Liability - Some hair raising statistics!

Every employer and supervisor knows that they can be sued for sexually harassing an employee, wrongfully terminating someone, or purging the firm of elderly employees. Most employers and managers think, "My Company doesn't do things like that, so getting sued could never happen to me." But, the odds say it will.

Here are some statistics:

• 80% of those sued feel that the suit is baseless and unfair
• There are 550 new employment suits a day
• 41% of jury verdicts are against firms with only 15 to 100 employees. With respect to costs, here are some other statistics
• Defense costs average over $100,000, and cases typically last over two years
• 67% of tried cases result in a victory for the plaintif
• At least 15% of all verdicts are in excess of one million

Given these realities, it becomes important to ask: "What are the telltale signs of employment liability exposure? What are the signs of a division or company at risk?"

The following are all indicators of employment practices liability, and should be managed carefully:

Organizational change? Mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, spin-offs, consolidation, downsizing, high growth, or reengineering. These activities can cause layoffs, dramatic changes in career opportunities, demotions or more selective promotions. These are all fodder for employment claims, and must be carefully managed.

Significant use of a contingent work force? Overuse or misuse of a contingent workforce can cause the court to deem the workforce "employees", with concomitant rights to monetary and non-monetary benefits.

Aging baby boomers? Age 40 starts the protected age class under Federal law. Changes in their employment status and benefits must be carefully managed.

Employees working from home (telecommuting, home workers)? Employers pick up the duties to ensure a safe work area (for example, proper lighting, chairs, and desks) and privacy (for example, accessibility to online materials).

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