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Maximizing Protection — Best Practices for Employment Practices Risk Management



Employment practices are an area that every business with employees must consider as a loss exposure. As long as employees are present, the exposure is there regardless of the number of employees, size of the business or type of structure. You should know that almost all employment-related liabilities are excluded under your standard business liability coverage. You need to have the proper risk management programs in place to protect your interests.


Discrimination Exposures

Being able to clearly document your employment decisions and show that you are basing your decisions on facts and performance is the key. Having clearly defined hiring standards, job descriptions and performance review processes are keys to controlling this exposure.


Wrongful termination

The controls for discrimination aid in controlling wrongful termination exposures. Clearly written job descriptions are a foundation. Defining what the expected behaviors and results from the position set the framework for the next control element – effective performance reviews. Having established clear and objective performance expectations via the job description, having a clear and objective review process reinforces the message that job performance is managed. When performance falls short of the set standards having a clear and documented performance management process protects you from claims of wrongful termination. Having a documented performance improvement process and reviews during this process to measure performance allows you to reach a separation decision with adequate warning and clear communication.


Sexual Harassment — goes beyond a quid pro quo offer of sexual favors for employment or promotion. Sexual harassment can arise from workplace environmental issues such as sexually suggestive posters, email messages, text messages or other forms of communication that may expose an employee to content that is objectionable. Recognizing that content that is NSFW (Not Safe for Work) is not funny but creates a real exposure to loss is the key element to prevent this loss. Having a clear process to receive and investigate employee reports or concerns also demonstrates your commitment to harassment prevention.


Retaliation for reporting harassment or raising a claim of discrimination can make an unpleasant situation worse. In addition to liability problems there are legal issues related to retaliation for reporting workplace safety issues that OSHA can bring forward. There are claims that can be brought under civil rights laws and investor protection laws that have serious penalties. Having a documented reporting and investigation policy for employee concerns is the best defense. Confidentiality of investigations also aids in retaliation prevention.


Inappropriate Employment Conduct — or tolerating inappropriate behavior on the job can give rise to a claim for employment-related liability. Having documented workplace rules and documented progressive discipline procedures to enforce those rules is key to preventing liability. Your being able to show that your workplace rules are reasonable and that you have an impartial enforcement process demonstrates your even-handed approach to managing your workforce.


The Driehaus Difference

We see EPLI as an area of exposure for any company with employees. We have markets for EPLI for employers in all sizes and in all industry types. We want you to consider carrying ELPI coverage because the benefit of having this insurance in place is access to the resources of the insurance carriers to help develop the controls we endorse. From sample programs, video training and hotlines for assistance and advice, there is a network of supporting services to help you manage this exposure.


We welcome the opportunity to be your insurance provider.

Let us be your guide to accessing these tools via placement of your EPLI coverage. Contact us by phone at 513-977-6860 or use our contact tool on our website, www.driehausins.com to get in touch.

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