Why Employment Practices Liability is Critical for Assisted Living Facilities
An assisted living facility can be vigilant in its hiring and employment practices, implementing strong policies and procedures with a well-run HR department to prevent workplace-related suits such as discrimination and sexual harassment among many other issues. But the reality is that lawsuits occur all the time and even if the suit is found meritless, the defense costs can add up quickly, making Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) must-have coverage.
Case in point: An employee alleged that a resident at an assisted living facility created a hostile environment through intimidation and harassment. The employee claimed that the facility was liable as it didn’t take action to stop the intimidation and harassment after the administrator was advised of the situation. The assisted living facility, which did have EPLI insurance, was cleared of any wrongdoing but its insurer provided a defense that cost $125,000.
In another case, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) settled a race discrimination case brought against an assisted living community for $650,000. The suit was brought on behalf of African-American applicants for employment and alleged that the facility had a policy of rejecting African-American applicants.
EPLI Part of A Comprehensive Insurance Program
Employment Practices Liability insurance is designed to provide coverage for the costs of defense as well as judgments and settlements, up to the limits of the policy. Policies are typically written on a claims-made basis, with coverage triggered only for claims made when the policy is in effect. Common EPLI claims involve allegations of: wrongful termination/retaliation, sexual harassment; Sexual, racial, or age discrimination; breach of contract; invasion of privacy; and defamation.
Employees file more than 90,000 complaints each year with the EEOC, with all types and size organizations and businesses the targets of lawsuits. Without EPLI insurance, the costs involved in these types of suits can affect an organization’s bottom line and reputation.
Caitlin Morgan has the breadth and depth of experience and expertise in providing insurance solutions for every type of facility — from independent and assisted living communities to nursing homes. We can help insureds protect themselves in a complex and increasingly litigious environment. Give us a call at: 877.226.1027.