Always something but whay are they asking me to carry EPLI? In fact what the heck is EPLI?
EPLI stands for Employment Practices Liability Insurance. The designation can be listed as EPLI or sometimes as EPL and provides insurance coverage to veterinary practices (among other types of business) for claims made by employees. Employees can claim discrimination based on sex, race, age or disability. They can challenge being fired for wrongful termination based on discrimination. Without EPLI coverage you would need to defend yourself and your business against a claim from an employee or a job candidate.
We have seen the greatest increase in EPLI type claims in the past five years due to the changes in our economy. Many of our veterinary businesses were forced to lay off staff and the process that was made in making those choices was sometimes challenged bitterly by the former employee. You are at risk from the moment that you begin interviewing a potential employee to the moment that you lay off an employee. What if in the interview process you did not choose an individual and they felt it was due to discrimination? The same case can be made when you let a former employee go for any reason and they file a grievance for discrimination.
EPLI is generally available as an add-on to your existing liability insurance. In some cases where it is not available as an add-on the coverage can be purchased as a standalone policy. The cost of insurance is determined by the sales size of your business.
EPLI should not be used as a silver bullet. Just as you should take steps to prevent fire damage and storm damage and injuries to your clients, in your business there are steps you can take to limit employment practices liability which I will discuss in next week’s blog.