EPLI: Why It’s So Important for Your Business to Properly Protected

Once considered a luxury coverage that only the largest businesses could afford, employment practices liability insurance, otherwise known as EPLI, is essential for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

The more you understand about the many reasons why EPLI is no longer a discretionary option for small business owners and large corporations alike, the better prepared you will be to purchase the right EPLI protection to meet the needs of your business.

What is Employment Practices Liability Insurance?

As the name implies, the EPLI offers protection to businesses for offenses, or perceived offenses, against employees. These offenses can be related to the hiring practices used by an organization, promotion standards, and even outright discrimination.

The National Law Review recently published a 2019 EPLI trends report, which includes the following: 

  • Pay equality. Many groups are focusing on the importance of pay equality for all today. For women, minorities, and more, this has become a cornerstone issue with many employees taking exception to unfair practices for promotions, advancement, and pay equity among employees. You may be shocked to learn that female physicians make 66 cents on the dollar compared to male physicians, according to National Law Review.
  • Me too litigation. The #MeToo movement has become a powerful force for the advancement of awareness and education about what sexual harassment is and how pervasive it is in the modern workplace. It has also spurned a leap in the number of cases filed with the EOC of more than 50 percent from 2017 to 2018. It costs businesses, even those that have made efforts to end sexual harassment in the workplace, large amounts of money — $70 million in 2018 alone. That number doesn’t include legal fees and reputation management associated with these types of cases as well.
  • Website accessibility. While website accessibility primarily applies to consumers rather than employees, because website accessibility is an ADA issue, it often follows under the purview of employment practices liability insurance. This coverage protects businesses from defense costs and damages but not for remediation, meaning the company is on its own for bringing their websites into compliance with acceptable standards. Another aspect of website accessibility related to EPLI is that if customers cannot access websites due to disabilities, such as blindness or hearing impairments, job seekers and employees seeking to learn more about your business cannot access it as well. Finally, there are some third-party employment practices liability lawsuits involving non-employees. EPLI is the best option for all these instances currently.
  • Pregnancy / lactation accommodation. Did you know that 23 U.S. states, in addition to the District of Columbia, have laws in place that specifically protect pregnant women from employment discrimination? Some of those states go so far as to require employers to provide private areas, that are not toilet stalls, where lactating women can pump, as well as refrigeration for storing expressed milk, while at work.
  • Labor. You probably know by now that hiring undocumented workers can be bad for your business. Not because undocumented laborers do poor jobs but because there are laws against doing so. In many states, businesses that hire undocumented workers can have their business licenses revoked. It is a dilemma for businesses facing increasing regulation and scrutiny related to hiring practices – especially those involving undocumented workers. The Immigration Reform and Control Act makes it detrimental for businesses to employ undocumented workers while holding companies responsible for verifying that all workers have appropriate documentation. EPLI coverage can help protect your business, especially in trades industries, such as landscapers, general contractors, etc. if you are found to have hired undocumented workers and on the wrong side of government.

EPLI Coverage Benefits

Fortunately, over the years, there have been countless businesses salvaged by having the right access to the “just right” coverage under their EPLI policies. There are many beneficial ways EPLI helps business owners manage their liabilities related to their processes for hiring employees, managing employees, and firing them.  

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC, the following reasons were the most commonly cited for EPLI lawsuits in 2018.

  1. Disability
  2. Sex
  3. Retaliation
  4. Race
  5. Religion
  6. Age
  7. National Origin

The common issues related to these lawsuits were:

  1. Discharge
  2. Harassment
  3. Reasonable accommodation
  4. Hiring

Work With Insurance Center of North Jersey for EPLI Coverage

You need EPLI coverage to protect your organization from claims on many fronts, including the issues listed above. Besides having EPLI coverage, it’s prudent to have policies within your organization to reduce the risks of these types of lawsuits against your business.

It is not only important to have the right insurance protection and policies for your EPLI needs, but also to work with the right agency – one that will not encourage you to make insurance purchases that are in their best interests rather than yours.

Working with an independent insurance agency, like The Insurance Center of North Jersey, means you’re not limited to certain insurance products from a single company. It gives you more options to find the perfect amount of coverage and cost to meet your needs.

Insurance Center of North Jersey understands that every business had different needs when it comes to insurance protection for employment practices liability and more. That is why we have partnered with multiple insurance companies, giving you more flexibility for your insurance protection.

At The Insurance Center of North Jersey, we can help you identify your risks as a business and act now to mitigate those risks before lawsuits occur while providing you with the right blend of insurance protection to meet those needs and more. 

We are confident that you’ll understand what sets us apart from other insurance agencies, and why that is great news for you and your business. Experience the difference in customer service, product selection, and reliability that has allowed us to service clients throughout New Jersey and beyond for more than 90 years.

Contact us today at (201) 525-1100 to learn more about the full range of insurance products we offer, and how we can help you get the best possible protection for your business and your dollars.