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Economy Helps Fuel Big Jump in Age Bias Claims
Employment Charges Reach Record Levels in 2008, Race Discrimination Tops List

Employment claims increased to record levels in 2008 as charges of age bias and retaliation jumped in a souring economy. Workers who accused employers of racial discrimination continued to file the most complaints.

ANXIOUS EMPLOYEES
"In a poor economy, employees are more likely to file claims," said Jeffrey O'Shaughnessy, vice president for HSB's Portfolio Employment Practices Liability (EPL) program. "Combine the economy with new employment laws and an aging and more diverse workforce, and the trend is more risk for employers."

THE BIGGEST INCREASE IN YEARS
Workplace discrimination charges filed in 2008 with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) soared 15 percent over the previous year to 95,402, the agency reports, with $376 million awarded to workers.

ECONOMY SLUMPS, AGE CLAIMS UP
Claims of age bias were up the most at 29 percent and retaliation 23 percent. Of the total number, discrimination claims based on race, retaliation and gender continued as the most frequently filed. Click here for a chart that shows the 2008 results.

WORKERS KNOW THEIR RIGHTS
In addition to the economy, the EEOC cites a greater awareness of workers' rights as a key factor in the rise of 2008 claims. It was the second consecutive year of sharp increases in claims that last spiked in the recession of the early 1990s.

COVERAGE IS AFFORDABLE, EASY TO ADD
Small businesses face big risks from workplace claims. HSB's Portfolio EPL program is designed to protect companies with up to 50 employees. Easy and affordable, it's offered through other insurance companies that partner with HSB.

CAN INCLUDE THIRD-PARTY EXPOSURES
We cover small business owners for employee claims of discrimination, sexual harassment and other employment charges, with optional coverage for claims by customers, vendors and clients.

PROTECT YOUR CUSTOMERS NOW
In a difficult economy, your customers are more exposed. For more information, contact HSB at 1-800-HSB-1866.



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