Employment Practices Liability Insurance, also known as EPLI, insures businesses when workers sue the employer if they feel that their legal rights have been violated. Big corporations always insure themselves against such law suits by purchasing coverage. However, small and medium sized businesses often neglect it, which can result in a huge financial loss.
EPLI provides protection against many kinds of employee lawsuits, including claims of:
A receptionist is being sexually harassed by a delivery person, she complains to her boss who does nothing about it, she then quits her job and sues the company for emotional distress. Events like this can cause the company financial losses, such as legal fees, or even more if the employer loses the case in court. Because then it would have to pay the charges awarded by the court. But by purchasing EPLI, you can transfer such risks to your insurance company who will then be responsible to reimburse you with whatever legal fees and charges you have incurred.
Lawsuits filed against employers by employees are rising and employers are recommended to protect themselves from such events. A business can transfer the risk of employees suing the corporation to the insurance company. A small business can be severely affected if sued by an employee, therefore, it is considered imperative for businesses to have some protection. Some insurers add this include some coverage within their Business Owners insurance, while some insurance companies offer it as a standalone policy.
Also, the event has to occur within the period of insurance coverage. If an employee sues the company after the policy has expired, then the insurance company would not be liable to cover such claims. Legal costs are covered in this policy no matter whether your company wins or loses the case in the court.
Note that the insurance company will not cover the claim if the employee sues its employer for punitive damages.
There are various factors that affect the premiums like the number of employees in your organization, your employment practices, previous history of such law suits filed against the company by its employees.
These premiums can be reduced if you have a vigilant and proactive human resource department who is well versed in all the state laws regarding employment practices like The Equal Pay Act of 1963, The American with Disabilities Act of 1990, Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 etc.