Claims connected to employment practices are some of the biggest liabilities that businesses face today. On a yearly basis, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) receives upwards of 200,000 claims and collects major funds in settlements and penalties for claimants. Employee lawsuits can present major financial and reputational problems for large corporations and potentially sink small businesses that do not have the resources to pay out settlements or pick themselves up following a lawsuit.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) has become a necessary piece of coverage for employers in all industries and of all sizes. EPLI insurance providers, such as Genesee, can protect their clients with comprehensive coverage that provides the right level of financial and legal resources to help get through a major lawsuit.
Below are some of the biggest trends facing companies today, and, in turn, EPLI policies.
Sexual harassment has, unfortunately, always been around in the workplace in one way or another. But high-profile cases in the entertainment industry have shined a new light on the topic, encouraging those who have been victimized to speak up, holding those guilty accountable. Workplace sexual harassment can be either verbal or physical, or both, and can include everything from crude jokes, name-calling, touching, groping, or other unwanted physical contact.
In sexual harassment cases, the harasser doesn’t have to be the employer for an employment claim to be filed. Any other employee or manager from a different part of a company can create a harassment liability. In these cases, an employer is responsible for the acts of its supervisors, according to the EEOC, and employers should be encouraged to prevent harassment.
Another trend in EPLI revolves around the misclassification of employees. This is protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which protects salaried and non-salaried employees, but not independent contractors or unpaid interns. While these professionals find themselves doing similar work as regular employees of a company, they operate without the same protections.
Employers have different reasons for identifying their employees in their own way. But if they are asking employees who are unprotected to perform the duties of a regular employee, they should be paid as such. Employee misclassification has turned into a common lawsuit against businesses and can result in major fines and penalties, back pay, taxes, and even jail time.
This is a wide-ranging topic that can impact various parties in a number of ways. When an employee or job applicant feels they have been treated unfairly due to their skin color, nationality, religion, sexual preference, age, or gender, they have a case to present related to discrimination.
Some examples of this include job listings that suggest preferences about candidates not related to professional attributes, denying certain employees the use of company facilities, or pay disparities among equally-qualified employees of different classes in the same role.
About Genesee General
At Genesee, we strive to provide quality insurance solutions for the Commercial E & S sector. Our longstanding expertise has allowed us to successfully serve your clients for over three decades. Our specialized products include coverages for Transportation, Garage, P & C, Professional, Brokerage Property, Specialty Programs and many more. For more information about our products, we invite you to contact us today at (800) 282-8755.