Employment Liabilities Facing Your HR Department
Posted on: February 18, 2020 by iSure
Knowing which liabilities are covered by which policies—and what to do when potential liability arises—is critical to maximizing your insurance recovery. Defense costs for these lawsuits can be substantial. But, there is a solution. Utilizing third party HR Outsourcing can ensure that these potential missteps are not weighing on your business.
Wage & Hour Claims
Violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)—and wage and hour claims in particular—are on the rise. Such claims may arise out of a variety of scenarios, such as when employers alter time records to avoid paying overtime, misclassify exempt and nonexempt employees and independent contractors, or fail to provide due rest and meal periods.
With an aging workforce and many employees deferring retirement, employers are seeing more requests for medical leave and more reasons for those requests. Some requests present clearly justifiable grounds for leave; others, not so much. Any denial of leave presents potential for a claim against the employer or, worse, the individual supervisor or HR professional.
The number of whistle-blower and retaliation claims continue to rise as workplace regulations intensify and whistle-blower protections multiply. Coverage for these claims, including the often-substantial cost of defense, is typically available under EPLI (Employment Practices Liability).
With corporate data breaches becoming more common, employers and executives are increasingly taking the blame—and incurring the liability. Suits are diverse, ranging from shareholder derivative actions to ordinary lawsuits seeking consequential damages.
A comment or post about an employee has the potential for “viral” proliferation. And more and more employees are using social media to defame, disparage or harass organizations and co-workers. EPLI may protect employers when an employee harasses or defames a co-worker and that co-worker sues the employer for failing to prevent such harassment.
Alternative Work Arrangements
Alternative working arrangements, such as telecommuting, compressed workweeks and staggered schedules, continue to increase in popularity, particularly in urban areas.
The arrangements may give rise to a host of employer liabilities, from FLSA violations based on nonexempt employees working longer days, to discrimination in the selection of employees to be afforded alternative work arrangements, to claims of missed promotion opportunities. Such claims may amount to “wrongful acts” entitling the employer to coverage.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has changed the litigation landscape by filing the first two lawsuits in its history challenging transgender discrimination under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. EPLI policies typically cover claims alleging employment-related discrimination based on the violation of any federal, state or local law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sexual orientation, color, marital status, creed, national origin, religion, gender, age, military service, disability or pregnancy.
Claims alleging sexual harassment are also common. The facts of each claim will determine whether it implicates CGL personal injury coverage. In addition, because these claims often include alleged failures at the corporate level regarding the enactment of workplace safeguards and policies, such claims may call for D&O coverage, as well.
Gender & Sexual Orientation
There has been an immense increase of protections afforded to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals over the last couple of years. These additional discrimination protections could affect the scope of insurance covering employment discrimination claims. With a steady increase of same-sex marriage recognition, procuring insurance that covers such discrimination is increasingly important. Third party HR outsourcing can also help manage these areas of employment practices.
About iSure Insurance Brokers
After serving leaders in the Greater Miami market for more than three decades, iSure Insurance Brokers has become the provider of choice for discerning commercial clients and individuals alike. Because no two insurance programs are or should be alike, you can be sure that iSure will craft a comprehensive approach to protection that is as unique as you are. We welcome the opportunity to protect what you have worked so hard to build. Please contact us at (305) 223-2533 to learn more about what we can offer you.
Posted in: HR Outsourcing