I’ve spoken with several doctors over the past couple of months. All were dragged into litigation related to their role as an employer. They were being sued by ex-employees. The allegations varied – sexual harassment; improper termination; discrimination.
In 2011, the Equal Employment Opportunity commission (EEOC) received over 100,000 charges of employment discrimination. The numbers go up every year.
Real world examples:
- A former employee claims she was unfairly terminated due to religious discrimination and received $110,000 in back pay and compensatory damages.
- A current employee filed a lawsuit claiming she was denied a promotion due to her caregiving responsibilities as a mother of two. A settlement of $105,000 was made to close the case for alleged sexual discrimination.
Such cases generate expensive legal expenses, onerous settlements, and rotten publicity. Need I go on?
More troubling is that most general business liability policies do NOT cover the following:
- Wrongful dismissal, termination, or discharge;
- Failure or refusal to hire or promote
- Sexual or other workplace harassment
- Employment discrimination
- Invasion of privacy
- Employment related defamation
It’s difficult to keep up with the laundry list of federal and state regulations that address employee management. Just hiring a lawyer to defend a winnable case is not cheap.
So, what to do?
Consider purchasing Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI). Many companies that sell worker’s comp insurance sell these policies. One such company is Hartford. The cost is quite reasonable. You want to purchase it before you need it. As someone said of a gun and parachute – if you don’t have it when you need it, you’ll probably never need it again.