Discrimination, wrongful termination and sexual harassment are prominent among litigated employment practices. Employers are being held to higher standards under numerous employment laws such as the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Americans with Disabilities Act or the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. The interpretation of Employment Law by state and federal courts has expanded both the frequency and severity of employment claims.
Insurance is available to defray the cost incurred in defending Employment Practices claims by business owners and institutions and to pay for damages resulting from those claims. The cost of defending cases, the size of settlements and the unpredictability of having a case go to a jury trial all contribute to the increasing need for EPLI (Employment Practices Liability insurance).
New Jersey EPLI, New York EPLI, and Pennsylvania EPLI policies may differ significantly from company to company and state to state. Different companies offer different coverages and deductibles can vary. Although EPLI typically provides coverage for claims brought by employees against other employees or management, third party coverage is also available for claims brought by customers, vendors or outsiders… those other than employees. Coverage is available for all “prior acts” instead of insurance restricted to occurrences that take place after a designated date (retroactive date).
Some policies offer the ability to choose your own attorney or to have input in the selection of counsel when defending an Employment Practices Liability insurance claim. As more insurers enter the Employment Practices Liability insurance marketplace, various value-added services are being offered, including audits of employment practices including review of handbook, supervisor training, dispute resolution, toll free consultation services, sample documents such as handbooks, and training and information, such as newsletters and web sites, to help employers study current Employment Practices Liability insurance issues.
Employment practices issues vary greatly and can include: