All employers have to follow strict labor, hiring and retention laws to ensure that they fairly treat their employees. Medical practices, in general, are not exempt from these requirements.
Should a current, prospective, or terminated employee allege that your workplace practices led to discrimination, they could sue your practice. The practice might then face legal fees and other costs should it have to settle a discrimination claim. In cases where your employment standards come into question, employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) might be able to help.
Perhaps an employee alleges that they were wrongfully terminated and sues your practice. EPLI coverage could help cover your lawyers’ bills and compensate an employee in case you are held negligent for unfair employment practices.
Even though EPLI insurance can help you in many cases of unfair employment practices, it won’t always protect your practice. Your insurer might deny your claim in certain situations. These scenarios might include:
- Neglecting to pay for your policy or let your coverage lapse.
- You don’t make a claim in the right amount of time. Some insurers limit the timeframe in which a policyholder can make a claim. If you don’t claim the policy in this amount of time, the insurer will deny your claim. Think of it as a statute of limitations.
- Your claim falls outside a claims-made policy’s filing period. Claims-made policies require both lawsuits and the claim to be filed during the policy’s active period. Otherwise, the insurer may not honor the EPLI claim. You might have to buy retroactive or tail coverage for claims-made policies to extend this limit.
- The claim might fall outside the policy’s jurisdiction. For example, an employee might sue because of an injury or illness from a job-related function. In this case, you likely have coverage under your workers’ compensation coverage.
Additionally, EPLI insurance may exclude certain allegations, like wage and hour claims. Wage and hour claims arise if an employee alleges that you didn’t provide enough time off or breaks during the workday.
There are many steps you can take to ensure that you maintain a safe, fair workplace environment for your employees.
- Maintain a written, clear workplace policy guide.
- Use discretion and transparency when hiring. Treat every applicant fairly.
- Always clearly state job requirements and expectations of employee conduct.
- Conduct regular employee reviews.
- Review and implement all workplace fairness laws required by your federal, state or local government.
- Maintain written records of all employee practices and potential complaints.
By remaining definite and incisive in your employment practices, you can reduce your risks of an EPLI claim.
We’ve got you covered. Joseph A. Britton Agency can help you get the New York EPLI coverage you need. Call us at 800.462.3401 for more information.