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Sexual harassment claims are in the spotlight

Publicity could drive new claims against employers

The high-profile claims of sexual harassment that have rocked the entertainment world may have implications for every employer. The spotlight on celebrities could create a surge of new employment accusations against all types of businesses and organizations.

Sexual harassment is a serious problem

Sexual harassment has been a longstanding problem in the workplace and leads to complaints at companies of every size and industry.

Headlines could drive new claims

The headlines and social media campaigns about sexual harassment, however, could spark more claims of harassment and other types of employment charges, including retaliation, racial bias, wrongful termination, and other allegations of discrimination.

Start with zero tolerance

“It’s important for an employer to make it clear to all employees that there will be zero tolerance for sexual harassment or other types of inappropriate behavior in the workplace,” said Sandra Tata, HSB assistant vice president for specialty liability. “Communication is essential in a changing and diverse workplace.”

Tips to help prevent a complaint

What can a business owner do to help prevent an employment claim?

  • Be committed and engaged. Business owners and executives should create a positive and comfortable working environment. Let employees know that discrimination will not be tolerated.
  • Develop comprehensive employment policies to prevent harassment and discrimination and disseminate them to all employees on a regular basis.
  • Make sure the policies are understood and employees should be aware of the consequences for misconduct.
  • Demonstrate accountability. Monitor compliance and consistently enforce all employment policies.
  • Establish a system for managing complaints that is trusted and accessible. You want to encourage individuals to report any concerns of wrongful behavior in the workplace.
  • Provide training on a regular basis that is specific to the organization and its employees.
  • Protect your organization with employment practices liability insurance.

HSB offers employment practices liability coverage

HSB can help with insurance coverage and best practices.

HSB’s Portfolio Employment Practices Liability coverage is designed to protect small to mid-size commercial businesses. It provides insurance for liability damages and defense costs and includes a loss prevention website, specialized claims services, and legal representation.

Get more information

HSB’s EPL coverage is a turnkey program that is affordable and easy to add to your business insurance programs. Click here to learn more about the coverage, or contact your HSB representative.

Sexual harassment claims are in the spotlight