2015 Litigation Trends Affecting Employers
In recent months, EEOC-initiated litigation has been a hot topic, with many legal experts and insurance professionals warning that as we progress into 2015, employers will only see an increase in EEOC claims if they are not careful. In 2014, claims of discrimination was the leading cause of EEOC- initiated lawsuits against businesses, according to a report published by legal firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP. In addition to ensuring their businesses are financially protected with the right EPLI Policies as well as Professional Liability coverage, it’s essential that your clients be aware of litigation trends as we move through 2015.
Discrimination cases may be increasingly common, but other lawsuits that companies are seeing more and more frequently are class action suits under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor standards that affect employees in the private sector as well as in Federal, State, and local governments. Seyfarth recently reported that employers could expect to face more ERISA lawsuits as well.
What can your clients do to limit their risks of being held financially and personally liable for claims of discrimination or violation of the FLSA or ERISA? Risk management starts with ensuring that their business practices are compliant with the rules and regulations set forth by these movements. For example, it’s important for employers to correctly define their staff as “exempt” or “non-exempt” for the purpose of their entitlement to overtime pay under the FLSA.
Other trends expected for 2015, according to a recent Forbes.com article, include an increased focus by the EEOC on large-scale systemic discrimination cases rather than individual cases. The article stated that the current administration is becoming more aggressive on the enforcement of its labor agenda, stressing that employers must spend time this year on efforts to mitigate their employment liability risks.
PL Risk Advisors offers clients in all classes of business a competitive EPLI product designed to cover legal fees, settlements and damage awards that result from EPLI claims. Please contact us today for more information at (855) 403-5982.