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Follow Me on TwitterLorne Wiebe is a well known former Cornwall broadcaster. Even though he now calls Ottawa his home, he has a special affinity for Cornwall and SD and G. He now works at Rhodes & Williams Insurance Ltd. and partners with the local business community to help them deal with their day to day risks. If you have questions or wish to contact Lorne, you can email him at lwiebe@ourhometown.ca
Employment Practices Insurance
Lorne Wiebe
OurHometown.ca

Employment Practices Insurance
Twenty years ago, business owners wouldn’t have given it a second thought but in today’s world where we’ve been taught to stand up for our rights it’s a whole new world and that has lead to a relatively new type of business risk. If you run a company which employs any number of people - from 1 to 10,000 - you need to know the ins-and-outs of today’s employment practices
PHOTO CREDIT - OurHometown.ca

Ottawa - July 16, 2012 - Twenty years ago, business owners wouldn’t have given it a second thought but in today’s world where we’ve been taught to stand up for our “rights” it’s a whole new world and that has lead to a relatively new type of business risk. If you run a company which employs any number of people - from 1 to 10,000 - you need to know the ins-and-outs of today’s employment practices; everything from hiring to firing and conduct in the workplace. Whether you are bringing in someone new or exiting a current employee, there are certain rules in place (mandated by law) to make sure that everything is fair and on the up-and-up. And these rules don’t apply only to management; even if one of your employees steps out-of-bounds, you could be held accountable and your business could at risk.

As governments have introduced stricter employment practices in recent years, many businesses have followed along and developed their own “respect in the workplace” policies to ensure no employment laws are broken. But the parameters of what’s allowed and what isn’t are pretty wide and can apply to some degree even to those people who are not your employees. For example, an action could be brought against you by someone who felt they were treated unfairly when you decided to not hire them. This rather vast mine field ranges from hurt feelings to outright workplace bullying and no business is immune from these issues. However, many bosses have yet to catch on that this is a serious problem and a recent survey by one insurance company showed that 33 per cent of the businesses asked had experienced an employment practices charge or lawsuit in the past five years.

Part of the challenge is that your typical Commercial General Liability insurance policy won’t cover you or your company against these kinds of employment practices claims. The good news is that a separate and relatively inexpensive coverage is available called Employment Practices Liability (EPL). Each EPL policy is different but some of the things they can cover include the cost of defending various employment related claims, defamation, wrongful demotion or discipline, and damages for claims of mental distress or emotional anguish.

In that same survey of Canadian companies, the average cost to deal with an EPL charge or lawsuit was almost $60,000. When you consider the potential level of expense when dealing with just one incident, purchasing an EPL policy seems like a bargain and this is where a knowledgeable insurance broker can find the right product for you business. While it may not be as obvious as property or liability coverage which we’ve all become familiar with, Employment Practices Liability insurance is becoming more common in the overall family of business insurance products…for a very good reason.

Presented here is a general article about insurance. The discussion is general in nature, and does not constitute insurance advice. This is not intended to be a description of coverage, and does not include details of the coverage nor the terms, conditions, qualifications, limitations and exclusions applicable. Policies should be reviewed in their entirety and related to your specific operations. Many insurers permit changes (Changes to insurance policies are usually called "endorsements" or "riders") in their limitations or exclusions to match your specific requirements. As insurance advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each situation, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of a competent insurance broker. IN NO EVENT WILL RHODES & WILLIAMS LIMITED BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER, INCLUDING SPECIAL, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THE INFORMATION PRESENTED IN THIS DOCUMENT.



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