Today more than ever, employees know their rights under the law. Over the years, the United States has created many federal laws and statutes to protect the rights of individuals including; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disability Act of 1990, The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, plus many other state laws. These laws require employers to act in accordance with very specific requirements which gives employees the right to file lawsuits, if employees feel their rights have been violated.
There are many reasons why an employee might make a claim against his or her employer. Typical allegations include wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment and even failure to promote. In in an economic downturn, employers tend to have layoffs, and wrongful termination allegations can follow.
We also know that humans are prone to making comments that can be viewed as inappropriate by a coworker whether intentional or just a poor choice of words. Occasionally, a poorly phrased comment or two can lead to harassment allegations. Whatever the reason, Employment Liability claims are on the rise.
An Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) policy provides insurance against claims and lawsuits brought against an employer, its officers, directors, employees and managers. These policies generally cover allegations in the following areas:
Discrimination – including age, sex and gender
Invasion of privacy
Emotional distress or mental anguish
Wrongful termination or discipline
Negligent compensation, promotion or hiring decisions
Employee benefits mismanagement
Breach of contract for employment
An EPLI policy will defend the organization and pay the damages awarded under the terms, conditions, and limits of the policy. A very important benefit of most EPLI policies is, they offer free legal assistance programs. You have the opportunity to contact an experienced legal firm to help assist you through an employee issue before it turns into a claim. EPLI policies are written on a “claims made” form, which means it provides insurance coverage for claims that occurred and are made during the policy term or within an extended reporting period if selected. Some EPLI policies contain exclusions that limit coverage during events such as a major work force reduction, acquisition or merger. Generally, criminal conduct is not covered by an EPLI policy.