Don't Get Caught with Your Pants Down
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EPL insurance is written to protect a company or aging services facility against damages for events relating to their workforce, including but not limited to, wrongful terminations, harassment, discrimination, defamation and unfair hiring/firing practices. It provides defense costs associated with responding to employment related lawsuits. A discrimination charge may not only cost your facility millions, but can also tarnish your companys reputation, hurt employee morale and negatively impact revenues. And in the long run, employee recruiting and retention efforts will suffer as well.
While large corporations typically have substantial employment practices insurance coverage, small and new businesses are the most vulnerable to employment claims due to a lack of legal department or company handbook that thoroughly details policies and procedures for hiring, disciplining or terminating employees. As claims from each type of insurance continue to increase, it is important to understand that from the moment you interview a prospective employee, your facility is at risk.
Lawsuit Prevention Practices
- Review any loss exposures with your insurance broker and purchase adequate EPLI
- Develop a comprehensive handbook complete with company and employment policies and procedures, as well as rules for disciplining and terminating an employee; all employees must be required to read the handbook and sign a statement
- Create a detailed job description that clearly defines expectations of skills and performance
- Develop a screening and hiring process that involves background checks to weed out unsuitable candidates
- Make a job offer in writing specify position, duties, salary, vacation accrual and stipulations of any bonus or incentive pay.
- Conduct periodical performance reviews and require self-assessments carefully noting the results in a well-kept employee file
- Institute a zero tolerance policy for discrimination, substance abuse and any form of harassment; there also needs to be an open door policy, in which employees can report infractions
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