Employment Practices Liability Insurance. If you own a business, you have likely heard of this coverage, or maybe you know it as EPLI. But what is it and why does your business need it?
Over half of all Employment Practices Liability claims are filed against small businesses. EPLI provides them with protection against these claims brought by employees – claims that are typically excluded in most General Liability policies. Discrimination, wrongful termination and harassment are all examples.
So, do you need this coverage? Well... maybe! First, consider today's evolving workplace has several challenges. A diverse workforce can bring about issues regarding discrimination based on race or gender. And most of us have felt the economic "squeeze." Unemployment is high and those looking for jobs may feel that an employer's hiring practices are discriminatory. Factor in that the U.S. has earned the dubious title of the most "litigious society," and you can understand why business owners face a great deal of exposure to employment claims.
So the workplace is an environment ripe with potential lawsuits. And just what could one of those do to your small business? While 75% of these lawsuits prove to be groundless, the business owner must still defend him or herself. The average Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint takes over a year to resolve and a majority of these claims end up settling between $20,000-$40,000, causing major financial strain on a small business in both time and money. And while 75% of all EPL claims are groundless, legal fees can still be upwards of $25,000. In a nutshell, employee claims can severely damage a business's reputation, and financial livelihood.