Employment Liability Coverage

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Staffing Companies and Employment Practices Liability

employment practices liability

In order to run a successful business, staffing agencies rely on their talented team of staff and temporary employees to showcase their expertise and dependability. But they are also quite aware that circumstances often develop where a job candidate or temp staffer may decide to sue the business over what they might perceive as unfair treatment, even going so far as to allege that the reason they weren’t offered, or were terminated from a position was due to a stance of a discriminatory nature.

For example, let’s say that a former employee makes claim that he or she was wrongfully terminated from their employment, and brings litigation against the staffing firm. Having employment practices liability insurance can help the staffing firm with defense costs as well as pay any court costs and settlements that often accompany this sort of accusation.

Why purchase employment liability insurance?

Obtaining employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) safeguards a business against the high costs associated with lawsuits as a result of charges of discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and other similar claims associated with unfair business practices.

A company would find it difficult to defend against any claim stating that they violated a person’s civil rights, or failed to provide a fair, acceptable environment for certain people to work in, without this coverage on hand. Temp staffing agencies often find they have a greater exposure since they, for the most part, do not have control & custody of their employees.

EPLI can cover your business when accused of anything from mismanaging employee benefits or wrongfully terminating employment, as well as claims that they wrongfully disciplined or demoted an employee, sexual harassment, damaging an employee’s reputation due to slander or libel, discrimination, based on age, gender, religion and race, or other such factors.

This also includes breaching an employment contract, invading an employee’s privacy, causing emotional or mental distress, or making negligent decisions related to hiring, promotions, or compensation.

If anyone in a management position violates legal protocols in the workplace, whether intentionally or not, the company could end up facing a lawsuit. Given that the nature of these claims often comes down to one person’s word against another, most companies would prefer to avoid being embroiled in a lawsuit, and purchasing employment practices liability insurance coverage is the right solution to what has become a very common workplace concern.

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The Burden of Workers Comp Insurance for the Little Guys

workers comp insurance

Many small business owners have a difficult time purchasing workers comp insurance coverage per their states regulations. For some, it’s just too expensive; for others, the job to be insured is too dangerous. As an insurance agent, it’s your responsibility to match the policy to the client, so work with a wholesaler that has the ability to handle small accounts just as effectively as large ones.

Small Account Issues

Some reasons why small business owners find getting workers compensation coverage tough is because many insurance companies are only interested in larger clients. Corporations mean money, and the small enterprise might find itself being rejected due to its lesser needs.

Another issue is your client’s niche. If you’re looking to secure workers comp insurance for a business office, you probably wont have too much trouble. If your client specializes in demolition, well, you’re going to be more hard-pressed to find a suitable carrier willing to take on the risk.

Variety Is the Spice of Insurance

In order to cater to the specialized needs of small business owners, you should work with a wholesaler that has a strong presence in the insurance industry. Even if your client does work in demolition, a wholesaler that knows several workers comp insurance markets can secure the policy you need, alongside educating your clients in OSHA regulations and safety.

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An Agency Has You Covered

agency insurance marketing

Hiring a specialized agency for insurance marketing frees up your time to spend providing top service to your clients. Here are some reasons why a marketing agency with an expertise in the insurance industry is a smart move.

Custom Branding

What is your image online? In addition to setting up an online presence in the form of a website and social media profiles, the agency will work with you and craft a brand identity for your business. Using an agency to administer your marketing means that your branding will be applied consistently.

High Quality Content

Once you have an online presence, you need to have content on your website and social media feeds that will matter to your prospective customers and keep your current customers engaged. A quality agency insurance marketing company will have professional writers craft content specifically for your business.

Targeted Advertising

An agency will also know how to best target advertising so that your ad budget goes farther. They will also utilize search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to make sure that prospective clients find out about you.

When you have a business to run, it is helpful to know that you can depend on a marketing agency that knows all the right moves for your industry. Agency insurance marketing has your publicity, image, and advertising needs covered.


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Employment Agency Insurance and Issues of Discrimination

employment agency insurance

Because of their arrangement with the people they enlist for other agencies, there are plenty of legal issues that could surface for a staffing firm. This is certainly a concern that should be addressed before an unpleasant situation arises. With all of the various state and federal laws that govern employment relationships, staffing firms face an endless number of legal pitfalls and therefore need to secure employment agency insurance to protect the company, its clients and its workers.

Staffing firms are in a very unique position. They provide sound solutions for client companies seeking to manage their own legal risks associated with their employees, but in certain situations, where there is the potential for workplace discrimination or harassment suits, staffing firms and their clients have exposures significantly different from a standard business operation. These issues are due in part to the enormous amount of turnover, and the constantly changing landscape.


Employment practices lawsuits aren’t that uncommon

Discrimination complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) can lead to expensive litigation or costly settlements for a staffing firm. Because of this fact, more attention is now being focused on employer practices related to background checks. Businesses can face individual or class litigation suits if background checks and hiring tests result in screening out protected classes, such as minorities, at a higher rate than other groups. The EEOC has renewed its emphasis on enforcing actions from complaints in this area, and individuals continue to bring about claims based on background check screening.

These agencies often enlist recruitment offices to help supply them with job candidates, and being a business, they run the risk of sending applicants to clients who may not actually be a perfect fit for the position. Naturally, this is done in order for them to get paid and move on to their next client.

Among the many complaints made by applicants are that they may feel like they’re being pushed into positions they aren’t qualified for and companies that aren’t necessarily a good match for them,simply because the recruitment office hired by the temp agency wants to earn credits for placing these individuals quickly. There is an awful lot of risk involved in recruiting employees for different companies, and maintaining employment agency insurance is one way to mitigate many of these risks.

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Options Available in a Carmel Business Owner Policy

Carmel business owner policy

Sadly, many small businesses go without all the insurance they need due to the cost. But this is probably because they haven’t carefully considered what not having insurance could cost them in the long run. The reality is of course that all businesses face risks that could be financially devastating without their having the proper insurance protection in place. Obviously if you’re opening certain types of businesses, your business risks could potentially be a lot more substantial than if you’re opening up a gift shop or a book store. But no business is entirely immune to risks, which is why having business insurance is crucial to your success and there are ways in which you can save money on insurance.

A business owners policy (BOP) is the ideal insurance solution for many small to medium-sized businesses. A Carmel business owner policy allows your business to create a customized insurance policy that combines some basic coverage, for example, property, commercial general liability, and crime insurance, at a discounted rate, as well as additional coverage types based upon the individual needs of a particular company.

Most agencies that deal in business insurance can, and wish to provide small business owners with insurance solutions that keep them protected. That’s why they give you the option of combining various coverage options into one convenient package. In this way you get more benefits than a typical business policy allows and better savings through competitive pricing.

Structure your Carmel business owner policy to your liking

There are obviously a lot of people doing business here in Carmel and they have different concerns when it comes to insuring their companies. The great thing about a BOP is that it allows you to decide which policies to bundle that will benefit you the most. If you have expensive equipment you’ll likely want to include equipment insurance in your package. If the area experiences quite a bit of fire activity then a policy that covers fire legal liability or inventory loss coverage might be the right solution.

Depending on the insurer, your options may be varied and wide. Products and completed operations, business income, and premises liability are generally offered by most agencies in the business of selling a Carmel business owner policy for those currently looking to purchase coverage in the area.

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Understanding Employment Practices Liability Issues

Understanding Employment Practices Liability Issues

The temporary staffing services industry is undergoing rapid growth amid many employers deciding to go this alternative route, or simply offsetting the loss of full-time workers as they take vacations or sick leave. The use of temporary employees, however, is not without some legal risk. Staffing companies, along with their clients, have a unique relationship generally known as “co-employment”, which can create some interesting permutations when applied to the types of workplace exposures that exist.

The very real concern of employment practices liability issues must be addressed. Some carriers even offer special employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) policies to respond to the exposures faced by temporary staffing services agencies and their client companies.

EPLI cases are somewhat prevalent in the staffing industry

While other types of employers face similar concerns, employment discrimination lawsuits are not uncommon in the temporary staffing services industry. This is due in part to significant turnover and the vast size of their workforces, both of which result in considerably heightened exposure to litigation.

By allowing the temp staff company to handle most or all of employer-type actions such as hiring, discipline, and termination, client companies can minimize exposure to claims and liability based on co-employment status. However, they cannot fully avoid co-employment status under many of the employment discrimination laws, as it comes part and parcel with the arrangement between them and the staffing agency.

Co-employment liability generally exists for employees of temporary staffing companies placed on assignment at a client company because the temporary staffing company and the client company share “employer” responsibilities.

While the temporary staffing company interviews candidates, checks references, and handles all other employment-related functions up to the time of the assignment of a temp worker, the client company generally supervises and controls the day-to-day activities and work environment of the temporary worker while on assignment. This division of duties serves as way to determine who is responsible for the temp employee at any given time.

Some client companies demand indemnification agreements from temporary staffing companies relative to employment practices liability-related exposures arising in the workplace. At the same time, EPLI policies most often contain exclusions for breach of contractual obligations. It’s important to speak to your insurer to fully understand your duties and responsibilities as it is laid out in the policy language.

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Employment Practices Liability Insurance & Disgruntled IT Employees

If you are in the Internet Technology (IT) business it is your employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) that safeguards your operation against the high cost of defending lawsuits due to claims by employees, or co-workers citing discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and other potentially devastating charges.

When everything is going well, the idea of having this type of policy may seem unnecessary, but the fact is that a seemingly harmless comment, or posting an offensive picture or cartoon up in the workplace can spark a controversy that results in someone, who feels violated or offended in someway, filing a claim against someone else at work.

People often view the same situation differently, and while one person may see nothing wrong in the way they were treated, another person given the exact same punishment, advice, or warning may view it as “crossing the line” between what is proper and acceptable and what isn’t.  If an individual feels that the environment at work is unacceptable, whatever the reason, this can be a hotbed for allegations that they were, in some way, mistreated.

Your EPLI can cover your business when one of your company’s leaders is accused of any of the following:

  • Wrongfully terminating employment or an implied contract
  • Wrongfully disciplining or demoting an employee
  • Sexually harassing an employee
  • Damaging an employee’s reputation due to slander or libel
  • Discriminating against someone based on age, gender, religion, race, or other factors
  • Breaching an employment contract
  • Causing emotional or mental distress
  • Invading an employee’s or prospective employee’s privacy, or
  • Making negligent decisions related to hiring, promotions, or compensation

Employment Practices Liability Insurance covers claims brought against your IT business by former, current, or prospective employees. When a question of violating legal protocols in the workplace comes up, you could face a devastating lawsuit. EPLI coverage ensures your business has the means to deal with lawsuits of this nature.

photo credit: Werner Kunz cc

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