Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)
As a small business or startup owner, you are in a highly vulnerable position when it comes to claims of wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment and lots of other employment-related issues. It is vital that you understand all the problems that can arise in such matters, get the appropriate cover with employment practices liability insurance, and ensure that you have the practices, policies, and processes in place that protect your business from allegations. In this guide, we’re going to explain everything you need to know – let’s take a closer look.
Screening new employees
Allegations can arise without even hiring a new employee – the whole process begins at the interview stage. If you decide not to hire a candidate, it is possible for that candidate to claim some kind of discrimination – unless you have protections in place.
It’s also vital to develop a proper hiring program, from where you can screen unsuitable candidates from their applications, so you don’t have to interview them in person. Conduct background checks on all potential employees, and make sure that you include an equal opportunity statement with your employment applications, and remove any sign of questions regarding age to avoid age discrimination claims.
Hiring new employees
It’s the same principle for when you hire a person but are then forced to dismiss them at a later stage – they can claim for wrongful dismissal if you haven’t covered your back.
There are a few things you need to do to protect your business from these claims. First, make sure you have EPLI commercial insurance, NJ to limit the losses you may be liable for. Create an employee handbook, too, detailing your policies on everything from attendance and disciplinary matters to equal opportunity statements and complaints procedures.
Make sure your job descriptions are accurate so that workers know where they stand, and form an environment where regular performance reviews are noted – and acted upon. It’s also a good idea to create a zero-tolerance policy about harassment, substance abuse or discrimination so that if those situations arise, you will be covered should you need to fire someone. Finally, good record-keeping is essential in case you need evidence at a later date.
Understanding EPLI and employment law
Your EPLI coverage cost will depend on a variety of different factors. How many people do you employ? Have you ever faced suits from employees/candidates in the past? What is your employee turnover rate? And do you have the relevant practices and rules – as outlined above – in place? All these issues – and many more – will be taken into account.
Finally, it’s also critical to the health of your business that you have an understanding of employment law. There are many different laws in place that protect the rights of workers and candidates, which cover all kinds of things, from discrimination on the basis of color, race, sex, religion and national origin through to discrimination against people with disabilities, declared bankruptcies, or poor credit ratings. An understanding of employment law will help you form the right policies with the proper intricacies and give your business the protection it needs to survive – and thrive.