Employment Practices Liability Insurance Protects Your Business From The Inside.
Business transition brings changes. New leadership introduces new perspectives and a new way of operating. But while you’re focusing on the future of your business, there’s a blind spot to be aware of: even with the best practices in place, employee claims still arise. Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) can save your business.
EPLI provides coverage to employers against claims made by their employees for a variety of reasons—like wrongful hiring and termination, or any kind of discrimination. You never know when a difference of opinion may escalate into legal action. A well-rounded EPLI plan will also include coverage against third-party discrimination, so you’ll have protection if any of your clients make a claim against your business.
I can’t imagine my employees ever suing us over an issue like this. We have a handbook and policies in place—we’re not at risk. We’re a small family business, and no one would make a claim like that here.
We’d like to live in that world, but consider the reality: over the last 20 years, EPLI claims have risen over 400 percent and continue to rise each year. And when businesses are in transition, those who don’t like change are more likely to claim wrongful termination or allege discrimination, harassment, a lack of training for a new role—you name it.
Now, let’s talk about the cost. The Conflict Solution Center, a California-based nonprofit that specializes in workplace mediation services, says the average cost to litigate an employment practices claim is $160,000. That’s just litigation costs—not including a settlement. Of course, some claims cost much less, but others cost even more.
We don’t believe any business can afford to go without EPLI coverage. Besides the financial risk, employee claims can be a major distraction for your management team and dampen employee morale. EPLI provides peace of mind and a layer of protection while you continue to evolve as a business.
Grow Smart. Get EPLI.
Transition is an opportunity to address known weaknesses, identifying liability issues that could get in the way of your success today and in the future. As you assess your risks, consider the Human Resources concerns that can arise during transition—and in the course of day-to-day business. Here is what you can do now:
Know the law. Know your employees’ legal rights as well as your own.
Put policies in place. Develop thorough policies covering equal opportunity, anti-discrimination, anti-harassment, and anti-retaliation. Communicate these policies in company handbooks, and review all information with your attorney.
Get it on record. Maintain organized records of your Human Resources interactions.
Train the team. Hold training and education sessions that help employees understand acceptable workplace behaviors. Review the information regularly.
Get robust coverage. Some commercial insurance policies offer an EPLI throw-in policy for an average of $25,000 to $100,000 of coverage. But that’s far short of the average cost of litigation. We recommend a stand-alone EPLI policy that provides comprehensive protection, including coverage for third-party discrimination.
The Bottom Line
Your employees are your greatest resource. Protect their careers and the future of your business. Whether you’re experiencing a major transition or just maintaining course, make EPLI coverage a part of your plan.