One of the most important insurance policies that your business needs to have is Employment Practices Liabilities Insurance. This type of coverage will cover you and your business in the unfortunate event of a lawsuit brought on from a past, present, or future employee. Let’s face it, not everyone at the office will like an off-color joke told during lunch break or a hug as a sign of appreciation for a job-well-done. An employee could take offense to the joke and file a sexual harassment claim or any other claim that could be applicable. That’s why, in case of such events that bring a lawsuit to your firm, you need to be covered with the proper sexual harassment insurance.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Sexual harassment can be claimed if any of the following were to occur: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. If an employee’s submission to or rejection of this type of conduct explicitly or implicitly affects his or her employment, and unreasonably interferes with their work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, then that employee can file a claim quicker than your next one-liner.
Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to the following:
- The victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or a man. The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex.
- The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, an agent of the employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee.
- The victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct.
- Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or discharge of the victim.
- The harasser’s conduct must be unwelcome.
According to the EEOC, it’s helpful for the victim to directly inform the harasser that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop. The victim should use any employer complaint mechanism or grievance system available. When investigating allegations of sexual harassment, EEOC looks at the whole record: the circumstances, such as the nature of the sexual advances, and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred. A determination on the allegations is made from the facts on a case-by-case basis.
Hopefully the above circumstances never occur within your organization, but if anything were to happen, make sure your epli insurance has your firm covered. Give Paradiso Insurance a call today so that we can assist your business with any policy needs it may need, and hopefully that includes EPLI.