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Step Up Your Employment Practices Strategies

Employers today face an ever-increasing number of potential lawsuits in managing their workforce. There are a host of complex federal regulations designed to protect employees from a long list of discriminating practices. Emerging trends such as class-action claims render large, high-visibility verdicts and settlements. It’s a constantly changing landscape, and all of this can add to confusion for employers and greater exposures. Avoiding employment-related claims seems like a monumental feat for many. The key is in having strong human resources practices in place; keeping up to date with federal, state, and local regulations; and having a robust Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) solution that will respond in the event of a claim.

Inside EPLI Coverage

Haughn & Associates (H&A) recommends that all of our business clients include EPLI coverage as part of their safety net in protecting the assets and reputation of their companies. EPLI will pay for legal fees, litigation expenses, and damages in the event of a settlement or judgment involving employment-related claims. This includes:

  • Breach of contract
  • Violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Discriminatory allegations based on gender, race, or age
  • Sexual harassment
  • Wrongful termination
  • Failure to promote
  • Infliction of emotional distress

EPLI covers your business against claims or lawsuits filed by both current and former or prospective employees. A policy can also be designed to cover seasonal employees, leased employees, and independent contractors. Some policies will also provide defense coverage for wage-and-hour disputes.

Minimizing Your Employment Practices Liability Risk

While it’s important to have a policy that responds as needed, it’s equally, if not more, important to establish and maintain proactive policies in the workplace, particularly in today’s environment. We recommend the following:

  • Ensure that your employee handbook is updated frequently and that it effectively communicates your company’s workplace policies and procedures, including attendance, discipline, and complaints.
  • Create a job description for each position that clearly defines expectations of skills and performance.
  • Conduct periodic performance reviews of employees and carefully note the results in the employee’s file.
  • Follow best practices in the hiring and interview process.
  • Make sure that background checks follow federal and state laws.
  • Institute a zero-tolerance policy regarding discrimination, substance abuse, and any form of harassment. Make sure you have an “open-door” policy that allows employees to report any incidents without fear of
  • Create an effective record-keeping system to document any employee issues as they arise and also the company actions done to resolve said issues.
  • Have an attorney review your policies periodically so that you are keeping current with any new or updated employment practices regulations.

Our Commitment to You

At Haughn & Associates (H&A), our core values and principles of integrity, honesty, dependability, innovation, and collaboration shape who we are and guide us; they ultimately allow us to provide our clients with high-quality insurance products and an unparalleled level of superior service. Each business, family, and individual is given the personalized attention needed to design the right fit of insurance and risk management protection.