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Understanding Employee Practices Liability
Employee Practices Liability, often referred to as EPLI, covers businesses against claims by workers that their legal rights as employees of the respective company have been violated. There has been a considerably large rise in lawsuits where employees file against their employers. Traditionally, most lawsuits are filed against larger corporations such as Walmart or Target, but no company is fully immune to the risk of a lawsuit via an employee. Smaller companies are now beginning to understand that they, too, are going to need the type of insurance protection that EPLI provides. Some insurance providers add this as an endorsement to a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) they offer, but remember that an endorsement will change the terms and conditions of the policy. Other companies tend to offer EPLI as a stand-alone coverage policy.
As we see with every type of insurance coverage, the coverage cost you pay will always depend on the type of business you are insuring. When it comes to EPLI coverage, the cost depends on your business type, the number of employees you have, and various additional risk factors. Risk factors usually refer to if your company has been sued over employment practices in the past. The policies will reimburse your company against the costs of defending a lawsuit in court and for judgments and settlements. Whether your company wins or loses the lawsuit, the policy will still cover the legal costs. Typically, the policies will not pay for punitive damages, civil or criminal fines. If there are liabilities covered by other insurance policies, they are excluded from EPLI policies.
When reviewing your hiring and screening process make an effort to make sure that you are avoiding discrimination the entire process. Ensure that you have the corporate policies posted throughout the workplace and a dedicated section in the employee handbook so the policies are easily accessible to all employees. Take care in teaching your employees the proper steps to take if they are the object of sexual harassment or discrimination while at the workplace. Express to all employees that they need to know where the company stands on what behaviors are acceptable and which ones are not permitted. Keep documentation on everything that occurs and the steps that you and your company are taking to prevent and solve employee disputes.
If you would like to learn more about the policies and coverage included in Employee Practices Liability insurance, reach out to your local agent today.