What your Employees Could Cost You
Do you watch "The Office"?
It's a hilarious sit-com that parodies corporate America. I'll confess
to really liking the show, but occasionally some of the scenarios seem
a little over the top, even for a comedy. No way would people do that kind
of stuff in real life. Or would they? True life is often stranger than
fiction. Take for example these real life claim examples provided by Travelers
of office decorum gone awry.
These cases of Employment Practices
Liability (EPLI) illustrate how challenging it is for employers to navigate
through all the issues related to Human Resource management. It's hard
enough for large firms with a professional HR staff. How much harder for
smaller firms who may only have one or two people acting in the HR role?
A female copywriter at a production
company sued for sexual harassment, alleging that two employees of the
company had made inappropriate comments about her physical appearance.
Citing sexual harassment of a non-employee, the suit was settled for $100,000.
An employee who voluntarily
admitted to having a substance abuse problem won his wrongful termination
case. Finding that the termination was a violation of the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA), the jury awarded over $105,000 in past earnings,
$100,000 in front pay, as well as another $250,000 for mental anguish,
for a total award of $455,000. The company only had 19 employees.
A Midwestern electronics company
settled a class action lawsuit alleging a violation of the Age Discrimination
in Employment Act (ADEA) for $7.1 million. The suit was brought by approximately
800 former employees whose jobs were moved to Mexico after a downsizing
at the company's U.S. facilities.
After reporting multiple incidents
of repeated sexual harassment by a supervisor, an employee alleges the
supervisor began a systematic campaign to force the employee to resign.
The court award in this retaliation/wrongful termination complaint was
$210,000 for mental anguish, $360,600 in lost income, and $1.9 million
in attorney's fees for a total loss of $2,440,600.
That is why you need to consider
purchasing Employment Practices Liability Insuarnce. I wonder how
many of the 19 employees in the firm that got tagged with that $455,000
judgment still had jobs a year later.
Reprint from the "Big
I Newsletter" March 23, 2010