When most people think of business insurance, the first thing that comes to mind is premises liability to cover accidents on their property. There are, of course, a great many other types of commercial insurance to be considered, many of which are vital to your company’s survival. In today’s world, one of the most important is Employment Practices Liability Insurance or EPLI.
EPLI is insurance that will protect your company from costly, potentially destructive lawsuits filed by employees. In the age of the #MeToo movement, EPLI policies are designed to prevent your company from being sued for sexual harassment as well as to address issues of diversity and inclusivity in your workplace. Because of the multiple EPLI policies available and the variability of their coverage, it is essential to work with a knowledgeable, impartial insurance advisor whose job it is to find you the very best, most cost-effective EPLI policy to fit your particular needs. If your company is in New Jersey, Blue Lion Insurance Advisors, LLC is your best bet.
Our Insurance Advisors are experienced and know the ins and outs of all forms of personal and business insurance. We are not affiliated with any particular insurance carrier, so we will assist you in finding the most comprehensive and cost-effective insurance. We will work collaboratively with you to make sure that the EPLI policy they recommend is well-suited to the type of work your company does, the atmosphere of your workplace, and our careful assessment of your risks. Our goal is to provide coverage that is Blue Lion Strong™.
EPLI and New Jersey Law
According to its mission statement, the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety is committed to the principle that fostering diversity and inclusivity in the workplace is a worthy goal. To that end, the Attorney General has established a Diversity Council to promote fair and equal treatment for all employees, no matter what kind of work they do.
Connecting with a competent, well-respected insurance advisor will show your concern with compliance with fair labor laws and protect your business from lawsuits that may damage your company’s reputation and financial stability.
What do EPLI policies cover?
EPLI policies cover your business against claims by workers that their legal rights as employees have been violated. Most EPLI policies on the market at present include coverage for wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment and retaliation — known in the industry as the “big four.” Other clauses vary, but may include: “wrongful employment practices acts,” “inappropriate employment conduct,” “workplace torts” or other employment practice pitfalls. If you are sued, your EPLI policy may cover all legal costs, whether you win or lose, and any settlement you have to pay if found guilty of the offense. You should be aware, however that EPLI may not cover any punitive damages awarded.
What are protected employment categories in New Jersey?
It is important to know how many categories are protected against discrimination in order to understand the full scope of possible lawsuits. They include:
- Religious beliefs or practices
- Sexual orientation
- Skin color
- National origin
- Pregnancy status
- Genetic medical information
- Marital or domestic partnership status
- Mental or physical disability
- Military status
- AIDS or HIV status
- Familial status
This wide range should make it abundantly clear why having a strong EPLI policy is critical.
Common Types of Employee Lawsuits
Below is a list of reasons your company may be sued by an employee. Despite your best efforts to have a diverse workforce and to be inclusive, you may be accused of:
- Sexual or discriminatory harassment
- Wrongful discipline
- Breach of employment contract
- Deprivation of career opportunity
- Discrimination in hiring or promotion
- Inferior working conditions
- Unequal employee benefit plans
- Negligent or unfair evaluation
- Wrongful termination
A lawsuit for any of the above will not only interfere with your business’s productivity, increase your expenses, negatively impact your reputation, and undoubtedly use too much of your valuable time, it could also cost you a tremendous amount of money.
Specific Reasons EPLI Is a Necessary Investment, Especially Now
We are living through a period of rampant unemployment during which employees are more likely than ever to take legal steps to help them get or maintain employment and/or win a large settlement. Thus, employment litigation is becoming increasingly prevalent. Some of the more common reasons business owners need EPLI include:
- High costs of litigation (even if you win)
- High settlement costs if you lose
- Likelihood of being confused by details of employment law
and being unintentionally noncompliant
- Prevalence of lawsuits in modern businesses
- Frequency with which companies fail to discipline employees who harass co-workers
No matter how well-intentioned or careful you are — addressing employee problems as soon as they arise and keeping records of all disciplinary actions taken — you still run the risk of being sued for discriminatory hiring practices or toleration of sexual harassment. Call us today at 732-649-1600 to speak with one of our Insurance Advisors.