The recent spate of sexual harassment claims against celebrities and business executives should come as a warning to every small business. Sexual harassment – actual or perceived – occurs in almost every single company – even the smallest ones – and the savviest managers and business owners prepare for a claim before they ever even happen.
One of the best ways to mitigate the financial burden of a sexual harassment suit is with employment practices liability insurance (EPLI). Not only does this insurance cover the legal costs of defending against claims of sexual harassment but also those claims made by employees alleging discrimination based on age, race, sex or disability. In addition, EPLI can be utilized to help defend against other types of performance-based claims such as wrongful termination, failure to employ or promote and breach of contract. EPLI policies, however, will not cover other liabilities – such as workers comp – that are included in other business insurance policies.
Because of their large numbers of employees and their “deep pockets,” the largest companies are often the “target of choice” for sexual harassment lawsuits. But smaller companies are realizing EPLI’s value because no company is immune to such a lawsuit. In addition, smaller companies do not generally have the financial resources to adequately defend against this type of claim so EPLI is an excellent solution to that aspect of the problem. Additionally, an EPLI policy will cover the legal costs of a sexual harassment lawsuit – no matter whether the defendant wins or loses the suit.
Worksite Employee Leasing understands the enormous value of EPLI insurance and provides it free of charge to all of our small business clients for all employees processed by us. Additionally, our EPLI policies include a rider to cover third party risk. This is especially beneficial in the restaurant industry as it covers employees in the event a customer or vendor sexually harasses the employee.
As a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) licensed by the State of Florida’s Department of Business, we provide a range of employee-management services for a wide variety of companies. Once your company hires an individual, we can handle everything from new employee enrollment and ongoing payroll through expense reports and benefits administration to tax and workers’ compensation compliance.
For more detailed information on any of these services or on the benefits of EPLI and how it can help your company deal with sexual harassment claims, please contact us at Worksite Employee Leasing. Find us online at WorksiteEmployee.com or reach us directly at 941.677.0110.