Employment Practices Liability trends among small businesses

employment practicesEmployment Practices Liability Trends Among Small Businesses

Statistically businesses are more likely to have an Employment Practices Liability (EPL) claim then a General Liability or property claim.  Additionally, approximately 40% of EPL claims are against companies with less than 100 employees.  It is good to be aware of the types of EPL claims for Design Professionals that are occurring in the workplace.

Pregnancy bias, meaning is your firm offering accommodations for pregnant women or for women that come back from maternity leave.  Also, men are also asking for accommodates to go to appointments and take a leave of absence for when their wife/partner is pregnant.   These could be considered non-compliance under ADA and could lead to an EPL type claim.

One more trend happening is with regards to religious rights in the workplace amongst employees.  Does your firm have accommodations for different religious practices of employees?  If not there is the potential that this can lead to an EPL claim if specific modifications are not made.

Another consideration in workplaces is with regards to the LBGT rights.  A specific topic that has been in the news quite a bit is the restroom accommodations for transgender employees.  How is your firm dealing with this and other issues that may come up with regards to LBGT rights?

An additional question to ask at your firm is how are unpaid interns employed and covered under your EPL policy.  Be sure that they are covered if you are not paying them during ‘employment’.  In most cases, if they are being paid then they are considered an employee.

As always, be sure you read your policy so you understand how each of these issues would be addressed.  If you do not have a policy ask your PUI Agent how they can be of assistance.

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