You probably know that your medical practice needs malpractice insurance. It will help you protect yourself and your employees in case there was a significant where you caused harm to one of your patients. But, there are also numerous other liabilities present within your practice, such as those that you post to your employees and their work with you. If you fail to manage employees’ terms of employment appropriately, then they could allege that you did something wrong. You will need a resource to respond to this allegation, and employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) might help you out.
Understanding Employment Liabilities
EPLI is liability insurance that applies to certain very unique risks within your practice. However, it is a particularly important one to have, particularly within such a professional practice.
On a basic level, EPLI risks are liabilities within your employment structure. They exist in almost any business, including medical practices. If you manage employees, then you must treat all your employees with respect and courtesy. In the United States, employees do have rights within the workplace. Therefore, if an employer behaves incorrectly, the employee often has a right to take up a case against the business.
Employment liabilities might include any number of wrongful actions from members of your practice, such as:
- Harassment or discrimination based on age, race, sex, religion or disability
- Sexual harassment
- Wrongful termination or discrimination in hiring
- Failure to promote
As you probably understand, your business has a duty to treat all employees correctly, both in line with employment law and beyond those regulations.
So, if an employee believes they were targeted in such an unfair way, either by the business, other employees or company leaders, then they might have a right to sue the business. This could get costly for the business, even if an allegation has no merit. Therefore, you might wonder where your practice can turn for assistance. One place to look is within your business insurance portfolio for an EPLI policy.
How EPLI Insurance Can Help You
Within your practice, your HR department likely must maintain a lot of the personal information of your employees. You therefore probably understand that your job as a business is to make sure employees remain satisfied and secure during their time with you. Therefore, should you fail in that duty, the employee might decide to sue you.
When an employee—regardless of whether it is one who is currently, formerly or prospectively employed—takes action against your practice, you have to respond. A well-formed EPLI policy can help you in that action.
EPLI policies can include a variety of ways that it will assist your practice in case lawsuits occur. On one hand, the policy can award the employee a settlement. That way, the business does not have to pay out of its own pocket just to settle with the affected party. That can protect your practice’s finances in the long run, and aid in your recovery.
Furthermore, policies can assist you with your practice’s own legal costs. Given that even lawsuits that get dismissed could get expensive, it’s important that you have this protection. Your policy might help you pay for a lawyer, along with the related costs. Some policies even offer free legal consultations from a reputable practice, if you face a claim.
However, EPLI policies will not cover every type of misconduct or liability within the practice. For example, they will not cover you for bodily injuries or property damage you cause to third parties. Nor will they cover misconduct towards employees that qualifies as a criminal offense. For example, while an allegation of religious harassment might have coverage, an allegation of sexual assault by one employee against another will have no assistance.
Still, the good thing about these policies is that they often cover many people within the practice, not just the company principals. Coverage can apply to nearly everyone, from the business owners, to managers and individual employees.