Employment Practices Liability (EPLI) and 3rd Party ADA Claims

Employment Practices Liability (EPLI) and 3rd Party ADA Claims

Employment Practices Liability Insurance and ADA

It is unfortunate that few Insurance Agents and/or Brokers are aware of the coverage enhancements available in modern Employment Practice Liability Insurance (EPLI) policies for accusations and claims from 3rd party ADA.  And even more unfortunate is that many business owners do not know what is available coverage wise and how inexpensive those great enhancements can be.

3rd Party ADA Claims are nothing new in the realm of Employment Practices Liability and are traditionally explained in the following example:

EPLI and ADA

A delivery carrier is delivering a package to the business.  Unbeknownst to the business owner, the delivery professional makes an unwanted to unappreciated advance toward one of the employees of the business owner while he/she is signing for the package.  This employee can now make a claim of a hostile work environment toward the business owner for the actions of the delivery professional (the 3rd party).  

This is the type of example used by 100’s (if not 1,000’s) of agents and/or broker everyday.  However what about other 3rd party type claims?

EPLI ADA

Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) Claims from 3rd Parties

Customers and/or Guests of a business or to a business location can file ADA claims whether they actually become customers of the business or not.  These types of claims are typically due to the ADA compliance of the space (building, suite, office, etc.) occupied by the business.  These claims can cost a business 10’s of thousands of dollars and countless hours to defend.  Then there are the damages and cost to remedy the space – but what if you are a tenant business and NOT the landowner?

Many business owners have heard horror stories where someone was blindsided by an ADA claim and was either devastated or completely put out of business; fortunately there is a preventative measure that can be taken and that is to ensure that your policies contain ALL the necessary bells and whistles.

EPLI and ADA lawsuits

The Number of Title III Lawsuits Tops 10,000 in 2018

The number of lawsuits filed in California increased by 54% from 2751 in 2017 to 4249 in 2018.  This record-breaking California number does not even include the many state court filings.

According to ADA Title III, the number of ADA Title III lawsuits filed in federal court in 2018 hit a record high of 10,163 – up 34% from 2017 when the number was a mere 7,663.  This is by far the highest number of annual filings since we started tracking these numbers in 2013, when the number of federal filings was only 2,722.  In other words, the number of cases has more than tripled.  The chart below shows the explosion in these types of suits

What is Causing the Drastic Increase in ADA Lawsuits?

There were close to 5,000 ADA lawsuits filed in federal court for alleged website violations in the first six months of 2018. According to an analysis by Seyfarth Shaw, a law firm that specializes in defending such cases. The firm predicted that the number of lawsuits will climb approximately 30% from 2017 to nearly 10,000 by the end of the year.

With online sales, reservations and job postings now a huge part of technology, advocates for the disabled say websites need to be as accessible to everyone, just as brick-and-mortar stores, restaurants and schools are.

Coverage IS Available for 3rd Party ADA Claims

The precaution to protect against 3rd Party ADA claims is already available to most business owners, but is sadly not offered by their Agent and/or Broker.  Many EPLI policies can actually be endorsed to provide coverage for the business owner for these exact types of cases.  As one would expect, the coverage provides for Defense Cost and Damages; however does not cover the remediation needed to bring a subject space up to compliance.  Even with this, the cost of the coverage is typically minimal as compared to the cost of not protecting one’s business.

If you’d like to get a quote or are unsure if your current policy covers 3rd Party ADA claims, please visit our EPLI page.

GDI Insurance

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

As one of the fastest growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more.

We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business. Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 for your comprehensive EPLI insurance quote!

Matthew Davis, MBA, CPCU, AAI

Coverage can also be provided on a standalone basis for Property Owners, Landlords, Property Managers, and Real Estate Professionals – Ask us how we can help with those as well.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance For Small Businesses

Employment Practices Liability Insurance For Small Businesses

Employment Practices Liability Insurance: Crucial for Small Businesses

From the time you start the pre-employment process until after the exit interview, you are vulnerable for a lawsuit. Nearly three out of five employers will be sued by a prospective, current or former employee while in business.  While many suits are groundless, defending against them is costly and time-consuming. This is why Employment Practices Liability Insurance is necessary.

Contact GDI Insurance Agency Inc. today at 1-888-991-2929 to see how affordable employment practices liability insurance is. We are your business insurance specialists. 

What Does Employment Practices Liability Mean?

It is the area of an employment law that deals with:

  • Wrongful termination
  • Sexual harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Invasion of privacy
  • False imprisonment
  • Breach of contract
  • Emotional distress
  • Wage and hour law violations

Employment Practices Liability Insurance protects you from the outrageous costs of defending your business in a lawsuit.

According to a recent study, more than half of all claims filed for employment-related liabilities are against employers with fewer than 50 employees. Alarmingly, the study also reveals that not even 2 percent of small businesses have employment practices liability (EPL) coverage.

High Cost of Lawsuits

Employment-related claims can be extremely costly, especially in cases that drag on for years. With  increasing adoption of worker-friendly laws, these cases are on the rise—in fact, discrimination claims have increased significantly in the last 20 years. According to data from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), most claims are based on race, sex, age and disability. Many small businesses cannot afford to pay these costs and keep their company afloat.

What Puts Small Businesses at Risk?

Understandably, it can be much more difficult for small businesses to defend themselves against employment-related claims because they tend to have fewer resources and a different work environment. Small businesses are particularly at risk for employment-related claims for the following reasons:

  • Many have a minimal staff and lack of in-house counsel and/or full human resources department to rely on
  • Overall lack of extensive recordkeeping on employee performance
  • More intimate working environments may cause personal riffs during layoffs

What’s Your Risk?

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As a business leader, you make important personnel decisions on a daily basis. From hiring new workers to assigning duties, each of your decisions affects employees in a unique way. Although these actions are critical to running your business, they also create exposures that could lead to costly claims by employees or governmental regulators.

Even if they are not warranted, claims for wrongful employment practices can disrupt operations, damage your business’s reputation, hurt employee morale and negatively impact your bottom line. What’s worse, even if a business fosters a welcoming work environment and takes all of the necessary precautions to safeguard its employees, it can still face an employment practices liability claim.

Download Our Employment Practices Liability Scorecard

Thankfully, businesses can rely on employment practices liability (EPL) insurance to protect against a wide range of wrongful employment practices claims, including:

  • Wrongful Termination
  • Discrimination
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Retaliation

EPL Insurance Is An Affordable Solution

Fortunately, with employment-based lawsuits on the rise and the economy’s upward climb, EPL coverage is becoming more affordable. More insurers are beginning to offer EPL insurance policies with comprehensive coverage to smaller businesses to protect them in tough times. In fact, EPL insurance is becoming so important to the success of small businesses that it is being offered at more affordable prices and being tailored specifically for those smaller companies. With the average cost of an employment lawsuit exceeding $270,000, the potential return dwarfs the initial cost of EPL coverage. Talk to GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. to learn if this risk transfer option is right for your business 1-888-991-2929.

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

As one of the fastest growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much more. With locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients.

We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business. Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 for your comprehensive business insurance quote!

Benefits of Employment Practices Liability Insurance and HR Programs

Benefits of Employment Practices Liability Insurance and HR Programs

EPLI_Benefits

The Importance of Employee Practices Liability Insurance

California business leaders make decisions each day on a range of issues including things like hiring, firing, compensation, promotions and the work environment.  Every one of these decisions impacts your employees and, depending on the outcome, could result in a claim related to wrongful employment practices. Protect your business with California employment practices liability insurance.

These claims can disrupt business, hurt morale, damage your reputation and lead to serious financial damages.  Thankfully, employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) can provide organizations with protection from the above risks.

Specifically, EPLI insurance provides the following to policyholders:

Coverage for Alleged Acts

EPL insurance not only protects organizations from actual wrongful acts, but alleged acts as well.  Specifically, Employment Practices Liability Insurance coverage can safeguard an organization from claims related to discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination.

Timely Response to Lawsuits

Employees suing their employers is common, and organization will want to be prepared.  This is especially important when you consider that there is no cap on how much a jury can award that settlements in employment-related cases can easily reach six figures.

Access to Legal Help

Strong EPLI policies provide the insured with access to legal resources.  This can prove invaluable if you need advice quickly.

Risk Management Strategies

While employment-related lawsuits can arise at any time, organizations that take the time to implement basic risk controls are better equipped to avoid claims altogether.  Many insurance companies provide access to risk management training and human resources consulting.  These services can greatly reduce the likelihood that your company is sued by an employee.

Additional Protection for Your Directors and Officers

While directors and officers insurance (D&O) can defend against employment-related lawsuits, dedicated EPLI insurance is necessary for many organizations.  Having a policy that provides separate coverage for lawsuits connected to wrongful terminations, discrimination, invasion of privacy and similar employment claims ensures that the limits on your D&O policy aren’t exhausted unnecessarily.

GDI Insurance Agency, Inc is your California EPLI Specialist

Want to Learn More About EPL Insurance?  We’ve got more great information on our Research Center.

Claims in California for wrongful employment practices are on the rise and often lead to business interruptions and costly claims. In order to truly protect your organization, it’s critical to get EPLI Insurnace.  To learn more contact Grant Davis at 1-888-991-2929.  GDI Insurance Agency Inc. can help protect your business from costly employee-related lawsuits. 

Get your instant quote today!

Why Do I Need Employment Practice Liability Insurance?

Why Do I Need Employment Practice Liability Insurance Policy?

Sorry every once in awhile I will write about an
unhappy stressful topic.

Warning!!! This is an upsetting blog about true
things that just shouldn’t be!

EPLI or Employment Practice Liability Insurance is one of those “let’s not talk about it, and hope it goes away topics”!

As a business owner, we all strive to hire qualified employees to work for us. Unfortunately, as you are well aware, not every hiring decision goes as planned. Even if an employee is a good employee and does a great job, or has to be terminated for a legitimate reason such as poor attendance or unsatisfactory work habits every termination opens the door for potential lawsuits.  The funny or not so funny thing such as in the example I am sharing with you the terminated “bad employee” wasn’t the one that brought the suit.  It was the “good hard working employee”!  This is exactly “Why do I need Employment Practice Liability Insurance” question gets asked.

Many times it is employment practice liability insurance (EPLI) that stands between you, and some things that just shouldn’t be.  After almost 4 decades of working with business owners, and owning a business myself I can tell you how sometimes it is actual the ones you care the most about that you need help and protection from.  So you and your organization can be saved from costly, frivolous lawsuits

To make my point check this story out!  Unbelievable!

When, a business owner, received a complaint that a sales manager (male employee) made crude, disparaging remarks to a female employee during a trade show, the claim was taken very seriously.  An investigation was conducted. During the course of the investigation, the owner spoke with another employee (A good hard working “team member” employee)  who witnessed the incident firsthand. According to this employee, the sales manager’s actions were offensive and harassing. Ultimately, after much deliberation, the owner fired the sales manager for his behavior.  Even after consulting an Attorney specializing in HR issues during the investigation and before taking action.  In other words everything was done right.  But here is what happened next!

Weeks later, the (Good hard working team member employee)  that witnessed the incident sued the owner for $500,000, claiming that after the incident, the owner had passed her up for promotion and assigned her a poor sales territories, all because she came forward with the details of what happened at the trade show.  Although the lawsuit was groundless, the business owner racked up hefty legal bills defending against the allegation.   Can you believe that?  If not I can give you more examples of how ridiculous this can be.

Lawsuits like the one this business owner faced can come out of left field and are much more common than you’d think. In fact, three out of five employers will be sued by a prospective, current or former employee while they are in business. EPLI can help mitigate these risks by providing the necessary resources to defend your company against a lawsuit or pay a claim.

As costs for litigation and damage awards climb, experts predict that employment liability will only become more complex.

For more information visit GDI’s EPLI Page by clicking here:  Fill out a few quick questions and we can get you a quote in a 1-2 days.  We can go faster also, but as insurance brokers we represent many companies so always strive to get you the right coverage at the lowest costs.  While some sites will offer instant quotes they offer those quotes from one company.  Every client is different so matching you with the right company is how we help to keep your cost down.

Or just call your GDI Insurance Agency broker 888-991-2929 for more information and help today!

We will help you learn more about EPLI and discuss your employment-related risks.

PS.  (Secret Free Gift Worth Thousands!)  Just ask and we will give you a free employee manual with access to an HR attorney to help you fill in the blanks!

We also will set you up on your own company HR portal all for free with no obligation.  GDI cares and wants to help.  Yes we sell insurance and would love to handle yours.

But we don’t need to do that to help you with this issue.  All you have to do is just ask.  We will do more to help than you will believe for anyone that asks for our help!

“If you have employees, you will get sued.”  Grant Davis..