New Study: EPL Insurance Claims Continue to Grow
As new laws continue to evolve surrounding workplace fairness and accommodations, employee practices lawsuits are continually increasing. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission continues its aggressive enforcement of these laws nationwide and employers are struggling to keep up. As such, every employer should be equipped with an EPL Insurance Program to mitigate risk, loss, and responsibility.
The EEOC and the Americans with Disabilities Act is proving to be a hurdle for most employers. While particular laws depend on the state, the interpretation of both of these organizations’ laws is causing a spark in litigation among employees and employers.
In addition, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Information Act (GINA) is leading to increased claims regarding wellness programs and health goals among employees. Gail Gottehrer of Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider states “The kind of information that is kept, the kind of data that those devices generate, the kind of information that these wellness programs generate you could easily see how some of the information either intentionally or inadvertently gets swept through those devices and those programs could run afoul of GINA and lead to litigation.”
Cases resulting from pregnancy, obesity, and even background checks are contributing factors to the increased litigation. As Ban the Box is pursued, a law that restricts credit and background checks on potential job candidates, employers need to ensure they are in compliance with the law and their states provisions.
Gattehrer states the following to avoid legal action, “Not only clarifying when you can ask employees or potential candidates about if they have any criminal background or what stage of the process can you ask them certain information and what can you consider but also saying that you can’t refer to their credit histories or credit checks, as well.” Further, employers should consider modifying their application process in order to prevent violating these laws.
Finally, Claims Journal states that the Department of Labor proposed rulemaking that would broaden the definition of an employee and once the rules are finalized, it could cause a major shift for companies in terms of who qualifies for overtime. Therefore, independent contractors and employees need to be reevaluated in the workplace to ensure they are not misclassified.
Being mindful and informed on local and federal regulations for employment practices can help to reduce litigation and financial obligation.
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