Holding handsIf you own a healthcare practice, you may need employment practices liability insurance (EPLI). As an employer, you understand that you have a duty to your employees to treat them fairly. If an issue does arise, it’s important to make sure your company doesn’t take a hit while you’re trying to handle issues in the workplace.

Though doctors are usually private practitioners and not immediate employees of the hospital or office they work at, there are several other direct employees such as nurses, administrators, technicians, and more. It’s important to keep patients safe from misconduct, but it’s just as important for the employees. Medical professions are held to a high standard when it comes to all aspects of operation, and any type of misconduct not only affects employees but potential patients, as well.

What is EPLI?

EPLI, or employment practices liability insurance, helps protect your business in case an employee decides to sue. This is not the same as a malpractice insurance. While malpractice deals with patients, EPLI is specifically for when issues arise between employees and employers. Whether the case has any ground or not, EPLI helps cover your company’s legal expenses in case of a claim and may reimburse legal costs whether the case is won or lost.

What Does Employment Practices Liability Insurance Cover?

It’s not just current employees that might choose to file a claim. Interviewees who don’t receive the position may claim that it was due to discrimination, or a former employee might allege that they were wrongfully fired. Possible claims covered beneath EPLI include:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Discrimination (race, age, sex, disability, etc.)
  • Defamation
  • Wrongful termination/wrongful discipline
  • Mismanagement of employee benefit plans
  • Withholding of career opportunity

It does NOT cover:

  • Bodily injuries
  • Property damage
  • Criminal offenses
  • Misconduct between employees

Is EPLI the Same as Workers’ Compensation?

These are not the same. Workers’ compensation provides protection for yourself and your company in case of medical costs for employees injured on the job and legal expenses for claims based on injuries acquired on the job. So, while both insurances deal with liability, workers’ compensation focuses on physical injuries while EPLI covers your company for more mental or emotional claims. In every business with a lot of employees, especially in the health industry, both types of insurances are extremely important.

What Affects the Cost of Employment Practices Liability Insurance?

Cost for EPLI ranges depending on several factors, including the company’s suing history. If your business has been sued in the past, your premiums may be higher for the insurance company to cover the amount of risk. It also considers your state, business type, and number of employees. Speak with your agent to figure out what amount of coverage is right for your practice.

Preventative Steps to Avoid Liability Claims

Even once you have employment practices liability insurance, it’s still important to try and avoid lawsuits regarding employment. There are several measures you can take to make your workplace feel safe and understood.

  • Diversity /sensitivity training: There are ways you can add this training as part of onboarding for your employees. Doing so may help reinforce boundaries in the workplace.
  • Hire with care: Avoid discrimination in the hiring process by vetting potential employees thoroughly before hiring.
  • Regular employee reviews: Reviewing employee performance can help keep track of employees doing well and those doing poorly.
  • Document: Tied in with performing regular employee reviews, documenting everything can make sure that complaints and practices are carefully followed.

Don’t wait to protect your practice. Contact a Joseph A. Britton agent today and let us help you choose the best insurance for you.

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