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EPLI – Employment Practices Liability Insurance

By April 20, 2021November 28th, 2022Business Insurance
Employment Practices Liability Insurance

Why do I need EPLI?

Whether your business is large or small, if you have employees then you should consider adding Employment Practices Liability Insurance, otherwise known as EPLI.  Your current policy probably does not provide coverage.  Commercial Liability policies exclude EPLI claims and Commercial Umbrella policies often exclude EPLI claims.  

EPLI Protects You Even When You Are Fault-Free

EPLI protects you from expensive employment litigation.  A wrongful claim can disrupt your business and result  in expensive defense costs.  Even winning an employment lawsuit can still result in $250,000 or more in legal fees.

What is EPLI?

This insurance provides coverage for defense costs and damages related to various employment-related claims including allegations of Wrongful Termination, Discrimination, Workplace Harassment, Retaliation, Privacy Rights and Negligence.  

Each EPLI policy will have specific coverages, so it is important to review your needs and make sure you have the coverages you need in place.  Examples of what EPLI may cover include:

  • Employment status claims:  claims of wrongful termination, demotion, evaluation, or failure to promote an employee.
  • Discrimination claims:  employees claims employer discriminated against them as a member of a protected class or that supervisors engaged in harassment or bullying can trigger EPLI coverage.
  • Privacy rights claims:  employment-related defamation lawsuits or alleged employee privacy rights violations, including unlawful disclosures of employee’s medical or financial information.
  • Negligence claims:  claims alleging employer was negligent in failing to adopt or implement employment-related policies and procedures, including the failure to train employees.

How COVID-19 Impacts EPLI Claims

Employers may see an increase in EPLI claims related to COVID-19 especially as employees return to workplaces.  Claims could be due to a number of different allegations:

  • An employee alleging they contracted COVID-19 in the workplace as a result of inadequate workplace policies and practices
  • An employee alleging the employer failed to provide legally required protective equipment and/or retrofit the workplace resulting in increased risk of COVID-19 exposure.
  • An employee alleging violation of privacy protections related to the employer’s contact tracing efforts.
  • An employee alleging retaliation after being let go for refusing to comply with the employer’s COVID-19 policies.
  • A group of employees alleging that the employer did not accurately represent the COVID-19 health risks or failed to take reasonable steps to improve workplace 
  • An employee claiming psychological injury and non-economic damages resulting from the employer’s timing for a return to the workplace during COVID-19 or supervisors permitting too many employees to work together without social distancing.
  • An allegation that an employer forced to terminate or furlough a significant number of workers has discriminated against a protected class, such as older workers.  
  • An employee claims the employer failed to provide paid leave as required by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. 

In addition, employer policies on vaccination may create a new source of claims.  Advice from the Insurance Journal is to, “Start looking at your accommodations policy and start training your employees and your managers on how to handle accommodations, either religious or disability requests when it comes to the vaccination.”

Review your EPLI Before You Face a Claim

EPLI premiums are rising in 2021, as much as 10 to 50 percent for some businesses such as healthcare, hospitality and transportation which have been significantly impacted by Covid-19.  Although facing an additional insurance expense may not make you feel happy, it is essential to protect your business with adequate EPLI coverage.  Increased layoffs in 2021 combined with Covid-19 claims are predicted to trigger an increase in age discrimination and other discrimation cases.  We are more than happy to review your insurance needs and then help you get the right EPLI coverage in place.  Give us a call at (610) 724-9717 or email us today

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