It’s important for employers to know how to protect themselves from a lawsuit brought by a current or former employee. Employment Practices Liability Insurance claims, also known as EPLI claims, are increasingly common in several industries, including home care.
EPLI coverage can protect your organization in the event of a claim, but many common EPLI claims can be prevented with proactive steps. Here are six kinds of common EPLI claims and how to prevent them from occurring:
Claims of discrimination are very common in EPL law. Employees could claim discrimination based on age, sex, family status, pregnancy, religion, national origin or disability status. Discrimination claims can be brought over hiring, firing or during the course of employment. To avoid a claim, develop documented employment procedures, avoid inappropriate interview questions, hire based on eligibility and qualifications, document any code of conduct violations and fire according to documented policies.
Wrongful termination claims can occur whether you have terminated an employee due to layoff, policy violation or performance. Claims may allege discrimination based on age, race, religion, disability or pregnancy, a hostile work environment, harassment, FMLA violations, or retaliation for pay disputes, whistleblowing, or worker’s compensation claims. To protect yourself and avoid a claim, create an employee handbook with all workplace policies and procedures, fire according to policy and document everything in writing.
Claims of sexual harassment and other hostile workplace behaviors remain elevated. A claim can result when employers or other employees make inappropriate comments toward an employee or ask inappropriate questions about their personal life. To help avoid a claim, ensure your organization develops and enforces safe workplace policies, trains employees and supervisors, and monitors operations to ensure a safe workplace.
Invasion of Privacy
Invasion of privacy claims can occur when an employee believes their employer violated a reasonable expectation to a right to privacy. Certain background checks, drug testing, security cameras, computer monitoring and physical searches by employers are lawfully protected. However, to avoid a claim, it is important that employers avoid acts of deception, secretive, intrusive monitoring, intrusion into a worker’s private life, or violation of confidentiality.
Wage and Hour Law
Wage and hour law claims arise when an employee makes a claim for back wages. Claims can also be filed as part of a class action. Disputes about bonuses, pay discrepancies, employee misclassifications and denied overtime can result in a claim. You can reduce your risk of a claim with diligent documentation of work contracts, job roles, job duties, pay scales and time sheets, and by engaging a compensation expert to help structure pay and incentive programs.
Breach of Contract
Breach of contract claims can occur where an employee alleges an employer did not meet the agreed terms of employment. Claims can be filed even in the case of oral or implied contracts. Claims may be filed if promised pay, benefits or workload are withheld, or if promised resources necessary to do the job are not provided. You can reduce your risk of a breach of contract claim by specifying at-will employment terms and avoiding statements of promises beyond the employee contract.
Reduce your risk of EPLI claims by taking steps to minimize your exposure. As some risk will always remain, it’s important to have insurance. Help protect your home care business today with EPLI coverage from Lockton Affinity.