Clarke & Sampson Blog

Claims Scenarios: Employment Practices Liability

Scott Jefferson | Friday, March 29, 2019

From hiring new workers to assigning duties, each of your decisions affects employees in a unique way. Although these actions are critical to running your business, they also create exposures that could lead to costly claims by employees or governmental regulators. Even if they are not warranted, claims for wrongful employment practices can disrupt operations, damage your business’s reputation, hurt employee morale, and negatively impact your bottom line. Here are some helpful examples to put the risk in context.

Claims Scenario: Take All Complaints to Heart or Get Taken to Court

The company: A health and fitness club 

The challenge: The business employs 10 fitness instructors, most of whom are male. While the staff members seem to get along from the employer’s perspective, one of the female trainers expressed private concerns to her manager.

Specifically, the female employee felt uncomfortable with the way her male peers spoke to each other when they were around her. In addition, she felt that she was unfairly overlooked for a recent promotion due to her sex.

Because the manager felt this employee wasn’t being treated any differently, they didn’t take any corrective action, consult the owner, or address any of her behavioral concerns. As a result, a sexual harassment lawsuit was filed against the company.

EPL insurance in action: Sexual harassment cases are becoming increasingly common and can affect businesses of all sizes. While organizations need to take reports of harassment seriously, EPL insurance can help organizations respond effectively to claims.

Furthermore, many policies provide additional resources companies can use to boost their risk management practices. Notably, EPL insurance can connect businesses to free human resources consultation, which can reduce the risk of missteps that turn small problems into large suits .

Claims Scenario: Litigation Frustration

The company: A software developer 

The challenge: The company employs a number of salespeople who, when performing at a high level, contribute greatly to the company’s bottom line. One such salesperson, who had put up great numbers in the past, saw a marked decline over the last few years. In addition, this salesperson had become increasingly hostile toward customers.

After frequent warnings and poor performance reviews, the salesperson was let go. However, this salesperson quickly fired back with a wrongful dismissal lawsuit, claiming they had been fired based on their age. Cases like these often fetch well over $100,000.

EPL insurance in action: One of the key benefits of EPL insurance is how it responds to actual and alleged acts. In the example above, EPL insurance can provide ample defense cost coverage, which, in turn, protects the organization and its directors and officers.

What’s more, the type of claims EPL policies respond to are vast. In fact, EPL insurance can help organizations fight claims related to breaches of contract, wrongful terminations and non-compliance with employment laws.


Benefits of Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)

· Coverage for alleged acts—EPL insurance not only protects organizations from actual wrongful acts, but alleged acts as well. 

· Timely responses to lawsuits—Employees suing their employers is common, and organizations will want to be prepared. This is especially important when you consider that there is no cap on how much a jury can award and that settlements in employment-related cases can easily reach six figures.

· Access to legal help—Strong EPL policies provide the policyholder with access to specialized legal resources. This can prove invaluable if you need advice quickly.

· Risk management strategies—While employment-related lawsuits can arise at any time, organizations that take the time to implement basic risk controls are better equipped to avoid claims altogether. Many insurance companies provide access to risk management training and human resources consulting. These services can greatly reduce the likelihood that your company is sued by an employee.

Learn More About EPL Insurance

Business leaders make decisions each day on a range of issues including things like hiring, firing, compensation, promotions and the work environment. Every one of these decisions impacts your employees and, depending on the outcome, could result in a claim related to wrongful employment practices.

Claims for wrongful employment practices are on the rise and often lead to business interruptions and costly claims, and EPLI is the simple solution. To learn more, contact us today.

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