The One-Year Anniversary of #MeToo – Where Are We Now?
It’s been a year since the #MeToo movement was born. The stories that poured out of Hollywood brought harassment in the workplace to light, and the traction hasn’t slowed down since. The #MeToo movement may have started in Hollywood, but it doesn’t stop there. It brought awareness, education and transparency to the world. So how does this pertain to the business world?
Employment lawsuits are nothing new to the business world and actually make up a major portion of the lawsuits filed against corporations every year. According to Trusted Choice, “over the last 20 years, employee lawsuits have risen roughly 400 percent.” Based on the media, it’s easy to think employment lawsuits only happen to large corporations; however, no corporation is immune, regardless of size. Trusted Choice reports that “roughly 41.5 percent of employee lawsuits are brought against private companies with less than 100 employees.” Employment practices liability (EPL) claims are much more than just an inconvenience; they are time consuming and can be extremely expensive.
Remember, whether or not the allegation happened, the lawsuit needs to be defended, which costs money. According to HR Morning, “the average EPL lawsuit settlement is $125,000.” The cost to an organization of an EPL lawsuit is almost never fully measured. This nebulous price tag is much more detrimental to an organization and can go beyond attorney fees and settlements as the right changes need to be made in the workplace to prevent these situations from happening again in the future.
The importance of EPL insurance is as essential as it’s always been. The reality is that behavior and dynamics are not shifting in the workplace, but reactions are. Risk professionals should not be fooled into thinking their organization isn’t vulnerable because they haven’t had a claim.
An EPL claim can arise in a number of ways; for example, discrimination (based on age, sex, race, religion, color and national origin), sexual harassment, wrongful termination, retaliation and wage and hour claims. A study done by Advisen found that only 23 percent of companies with fewer than 100 employees purchase EPL insurance. The cost of an EPL policy is minimal, and as these claims continue to rise, it could mean significant financial consequences for a business that does not have coverage or adequate coverage by only carrying an EPL endorsement on their Businessowners Package (BOP).
Businesses looking for a high quality EPL policy should look no further than USLI. Our product offers many advantages and is competitively priced. A few of our coverage highlights include:
- Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)—$100,000 sub-limit for defense costs and loss (available to most accounts in most jurisdictions)
- Optional third-party discrimination and harassment (available for most classes)
- Defense costs outside the limit of liability (for accounts up to 200 employees)
- Full prior acts coverage for claim-free accounts (most states/classes)
- Retentions starting at $1,000 (can vary by state/class)
As the #MeToo movement continues to shed light on workplace harassment, it’s important to stay educated and make sure your clients have the right coverage in place for their business.
Please contact your Professional Lines underwriter for more information or quote, or get a web quote today. All you will need for a quote is the applicant name, address and the number of employees.
As always, thank you for your support and business.
Contact Chris Lavelle
Product Leader | 888-523-5545 Ext. 2060