Employment Practices Liability Insurance: Reducing Risk
Seemingly due to the recent recession, there has been a rise in employee lawsuits against their employers. Claims such as age discrimination, sexual harassment, disability discrimination, racial discrimination, and retaliation have been seen more and more frequently. It’s a good idea to share with your clients some steps that they can take in order to protect themselves against EPL claims.
Distribute a well-written employee handbook.
This should contain your client’s equal employment opportunity policy and should provide their employees with an internal mechanism to raise any concerns about discrimination or harassment before it becomes an issue.
Develop a code of ethics policy.
Doing so may reduce your client’s exposure to punitive damages, should their business be sued over the actions of an employee.
Include an anti-retaliation provision.
It may be in your client’s best interest to state that it is in their policy to not retaliate against employees over accusations of discrimination or harassment, as this may help an employee feel more comfortable about approaching the issue before it becomes unmanageable.
Institute handbook auditing procedures.
Having an audit procedure in place under which your client’s employee handbook is periodically updated to keep up with changes in the law is important, as it can help in the defense of the business.
Your clients can protect themselves financially from these claims by having an Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) policy in place, but it’s also good for them to know how they can potentially prevent the claims from happening in the first place. Should a claim occur, this insurance policy will protect their business from the legal costs they will incur defending themselves, plus any damages they may have to pay.