What is Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)?
EPLI covers an employers’ defense costs and losses from employment-related claims, including wage and hour disputes and allegations of discrimination, harassment, retaliation and unlawful termination.
Do you need employment practices liability insurance? The short answer is yes. If you have employees, you have liabilities.
*EPLI claims are on the rise
In the last two decades, the frequency of EPLI lawsuits has risen an astounding 400%. Employers must be vigilant when it comes to protecting themselves against claims of discrimination. Having the right EPLI coverage is a good first step. Use this checklist to help defend yourself.
*Did You Know?
Companies large and small share the burden equally. As many as 41% of EPLI-related lawsuits are brought against private companies with less than 100 employees. Your business is three times more likely to be sued as the result of an EPLI claim than it is to experience a fire.
The 5 Most Common EPLI Claims Employers Need to Know
When you have employees, you are exposed to a broad risk of exposures and liabilities. When you know the trends in EPLI claims, you can put together a plan to reduce that exposure. Learn about employment practices liability insurance trends that you can get ahead of such as fair pay, wage theft, worker classification, gender identity and restroom access, and effective compensation.
Avoid liability related to fair pay and the Equal Pay Act. Be proactive and self-audit:
• Does my organization have up-to-date job descriptions that include criteria for skills, education, seniority and responsibility?
• Does my organization assign consistent compensation to similar jobs performed by individuals with similar skills, education, seniority and responsibility?
• Are men and women assigned projects or clients with commission/bonus potential on a consistent basis?
Wage denial or employee benefits that are rightfully owed to employees costs U.S. workers as much as $50 billion annually. Wage theft can include forcing employees to work “off the books,” not providing consistent meal and rest breaks and failure to pay overtime and earned tips. Clear, consistent policies and proper manager training can help you avoid wage theft.
Avoid EPLI claims resulting from the misclassification of contract workers by better defining their independent contractor status.
• Review federal economic reality and state labor tests, as well as IRS guidelines for classifying workers.
• Determine if you are classifying “contractors” and employees performing similar tasks consistently.
• Perform misclassification audits on a monthly or quarterly basis
Gender Identity and Restroom Access
Avoid restricting employees from the use of restrooms based on their gender identity. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) suggests the following:
• Permit employees to use the restroom associated with their gender identity.
• Don’t ask employees to provide medical or legal documentation of gender identity to access gender-appropriate restrooms.
• Provide additional single- and multi-occupancy, gender-neutral restrooms with lockable stalls.
Millennials currently make up 50% of the U.S. workforce. As that number continues to rise — it will reach 75% by 2025 — this segment is driving a dynamic shift in pay practices from a merit-driven system to a value-based approach.
Employers who create a performance management program built on a results-driven culture that integrates compensation, rewards and performance will be well positioned to avoid potential EPL claims.