This is an area of litigation that promises to employ more attorneys than even tobacco, asbestos or guns. It is among the hottest growth prospects for the legal profession because it is extremely "discovery-intense," and it receives extraordinary media attention.  Standard commercial liability insurance generally does not provide coverage.

Among other things, employers may now be sued for:

  • Discrimination in hiring
  • Wrongfully terminating employment
  • Retaliating against whistleblowers
  • Sexual, racial harassment
  • Violations of the Family & Medical Leave Act
  • Violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Discrimination on the basis of gender, age, religion or race
  • Failure to properly administer employee benefit plans
  • Violating any of countless E.E.O.C. regulations

California (as usual) top of the list with the highest per-case average claim.  Average jury award exceeds $1 Million.   Legislation now requires employers to install sexual harassment training to supervisors. No business is immune to this type of claim. Very small businesses are in a sense even more vulnerable, because defending these types of claims requires extensive record-keeping. If you choose not to carry insurance, it is absolutely essential that you be able to prove by way of written documents every aspect of your conduct as an employer & demonstrate your compliance with regulations.

While the number of lawsuits filed in this category grows at a frightening rate, real jackpot collections are surprisingly rare, as reductions on appeal are commonplace. Given the media fascination, baseless and frivolous claims are widespread. Insurance carriers have come to realize that with competent, specialized counsel, claims can be defended efficiently and insurance offered profitably even to small business.  If you are faced with one of these claims, the legal costs can be staggering. Insurance not only gets you protection for the payment of judgments, but perhaps even more importantly gets you competent legal counsel.

Coverage is available in separate "EPL" liability policies, which vary greatly in scope, terms and deductible.


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