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Employment claims are changing with today’s workforce

EPL insurance is evolving to cover emerging employer risks

Even as employers continue to struggle with discrimination claims and other traditional employment charges and lawsuits, the number of work-related complaints is expanding into new areas including gender, sexuality and family issues.

Retaliation, race and disability claims

Charges such as retaliation and race and disability discrimination still account for the largest number of employment claims, but a changing workforce is creating new exposures for employers.

“Diversity and inclusion collide”

“Diversity and inclusion are colliding in the workplace,” said Todd Cincotta, HSB vice president for strategic products. “State and federal governments are stepping up enforcement of employment laws and issues such as equal pay and gender identity are demanding more attention from employers.”

Complaints show double-digit increase

Total employment-related complaints against employers increased again in 2016 to 91,503, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reports, up 2.4 percent from the year before and 21 percent higher over the previous decade.

Sexual harassment charges up 15 percent

Despite advances in employment-related relationships, workplace issues are still prevalent, even in their most basic form. The latest EEOC findings show:

  • Sexual harassment claims were up 15 percent from 2010.
  • Color-based charges increased 9.5 percent from 2015 and almost 200 percent from 2006.
  • Employers paid out $482 million in monetary awards.

LGBT employment claims are rising

Claims involving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights are a growing concern.

LGBT employment charges climbed 118 percent from 2013 and were included as a category for the first time in the 2016 EEOC report. The agency collected almost $11 million from employers over LGBT complaints in the previous four years.

How can employers keep up?

It can be difficult for employers to keep up with new employment trends and to fill the gaps in their insurance coverage. That’s especially true for smaller employers, who don’t have the resources to protect themselves from employment practices charges and lawsuits.

HSB’s EPL insurance coverage

HSB’s Portfolio Employment Practices Liability coverage provides small to mid-sized businesses with liability coverage and loss prevention services. Our easy and affordable program is offered through insurance companies as part of their business owners policies (BOPs).

Learn more about HSB’s Portfolio EPL coverage on our website, or contact your HSB representative.

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Employment claims are changing with today’s workforce