This is a fascinating topic to say the least! It seems like every time we hear about a Sexual Harassment law suit, we cringe and say, “Seriously!? Someone expected to get away with that?” Whether it’s Anthony Weiner, Bob Filner, the Restaurant Manager, the Sous Chef or the Janitor it always seems to be an incredulous situation; and quite frankly stupid and avoidable. I remember one instance seeing a jury summons come in, on it as was a blown up photo copy of a $47 paycheck and in the memo line it said this: “For great Sex!” with the Employers signature on the check right next to this statement.
Not one but THREE women came forward in this suit and took home $30,000 each. I specifically remember thinking. “That’s ALL?” For some reason Sexual Harassment continues to be a workplace problem and for everyone person that does come forward, there are thousands that don’t, these are ticking time bombs and problems that Employers are typically unaware of. So as a Small Business Owner without an HR Department or attorney on retainer to handle these problems you ask your self, “What can I do about this situation?” There are several things you can do, the first one is this: Purchase Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI).
We have seen a dramatic spike in EPLI claims these last few years, it not only big companies that see these claims, it is the Emerging Businesses as well. EPLI is affordable and there are a range of options that will fit your business model. The real benefit of this coverage however is not the coverage its self, but the programs that come with it. Insurance companies want to limit their losses as much as you do and their first line of defense is Loss Prevention, meaning they are willing to help you prevent claims and they do so by providing you with access to some great programs. Most companies providing you with EPLI coverage will have an HR hotline and when you run into a problem with an employee this is the first call you should make, because what it actually is, is free legal counsel with ACTUAL Employment Law Attorneys to help you make your decision.
Another big benefit is free training. Most of these companies will help train your employees and key management staff with online training programs, including course certification, which then gives you documentation should any problems arise with an employee who has completed this course. These companies will also help you draft an Employee Handbook and in some cases perform background checks as well. The benefits of EPLI are endless.
If you would like to learn more about this coverage, give us a call and we would be happy to discuss it further at 949-580-1969 or Toll Free at 877-818-7742.
And just for fun, the 9 largest Sexual Harassment Verdicts in History (as of 2012):