Employment Practices Liability (EPL) insurance protects businesses from a broad range of allegations including but not limited to coverage for defense costs and damages related to various employment related claims, including allegations of wrongful termination, discrimination, workplace harassment and retaliation deriving from the employer-employee relationship. Employment practices litigation is impacting employers of all sizes with greater financial implications to the mid-sized and small businesses. Defending against these types of allegations can be expensive and time consuming.
A few ways for your insureds to be protected from an EPL suit:
- Create an Employee Handbook with employment policies and procedures. Have the handbook reviewed by an attorney before being published.
- Meet with every employee, either individually or as a group, and go over the handbook in detail. Require each employee to sign off indicating that they have received a copy and had the Employee Handbook explained.
- Management must be trained in the employment handbook policies and procedures.
- Define hiring processes and create checklists for the entire hiring process to make sure all laws and procedures are followed.
- Define the employee disciplinary and termination procedures.
- Insist on an exit interview for every employee laid off or terminated. At that interview, review all issues and have the employee sign off, saying that the issues have been explained, regardless of whether the employee agrees or not.
- Strictly enforce the employment procedures in the law and in your Handbook. It will be important to keep this document current with changes to employment regulations and laws.
- Businesses should purchase EPL insurance.