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“Employment Practices Liability Insurance”(EPLI) protects against what “Comprehensive General Liability” and “Directors & Officers” coverage can not. EPLI is a specialized coverage that protects against claims brought against the business. It covers issues including sexual harassment, wrongful termination, emotional distress, and many other problems.

 

EPLI helps protect a broad field and many facets of the employer’s decisions. In many instances where the employer tries to make the proper and correct decision it backfires and hurts the company long-term.

 

These instances can have a devastating impact on the business. An example being-

 “Americans with Disabilities Act: A local plumber at a small community shop suffered from panic disorders and other psychological disabilities. Purporting to invoke the Americans with Disabilities Act, he requested a transfer to a less stressful position. The company denied his request but indicated that it would endeavor to accommodate him in his current position. Thereafter, the employee claimed that his supervisors began giving him less challenging work such as filing and data entry and refused to offer him the additional training that other plumbers were receiving. When the owner of the shop issued a written warning because the employee was found sleeping on the job, the employee sued, alleged retaliation and claimed that the drowsiness was a side effect of his medication and that the company must accommodate him because of it. Although the company ultimately won at trial and on appeal, the defense costs totaled more than $275,000.”

In another instance where the employer had the apparent well-being of the individual in mind ended up becoming a problem-

“Retaliation: An African American employee of a barge repair and painting firm earning $15.50 per hour complained that his coworkers were using racial slurs and making jokes. His supervisor transferred him to an inside warehouse position at a reduced hourly rate stating that it would be better for him to work alone rather than be exposed to those workers. The employee resigned later and sued for constructive discharge, discrimination and retaliation for reporting the discrimination. Defense costs to date are $35,000 and the monetary demand is $250,000.”

An unforeseen instance could arise in the workplace with simple things like email- “?Internet/Email Liability: An employee who intended to email a pornographic joke to only a single recipient accidentally pressed the wrong button, sending the off-color joke to the company’s entire workforce. The employer made the employee send a follow-up email apologizing to the workforce. Two months later, during a company downsizing, an employee sued for a hostile work environment and used the email as evidence.”

 

The bottom-line is that all of these cases show that people make mistakes. Things can not be predicted. Accidents happen. What matters is that we try to prevent these incidents but also obtain proper protection. EPLI helps protect the employer from these situations and circumstances.

-If you have any questions or concerns about EPLI coverage, please call or email our office.

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