How COVID-19 has Impacted the EPLI Market

What is EPLI?

EPLI, or employment practices liability insurance, cover businesses from claims made by employees that the company has violated their rights. Though most EPLI claims are made against big corporations, any business that has employees is at risk of lawsuits. EPLI coverage is sometimes offered as an endorsement to a Business Owners Policy but is most often marketed as stand-alone coverage.

Some common lawsuits that are covered by an EPLI include but are not limited to:

  • sexual harassment
  • discrimination
  • wrongful termination
  • breach of employment contract

Changes due to COVID-19

COVID-19 has raised the risk of EPLI claims due to employees returning to work while COVID-19 continues to spread. In early 2020, many employers began the transition to remote work to enable their business to continue while the coronavirus spread. As the restrictions and stay at home orders are being lifted, many businesses find themselves at risk of COVID-19-related EPLI claims such as employees claiming:

  • They contracted COVID-19 at work due to inadequate safety precautions.
  • They were not given personal protective equipment, which resulted in increased exposure to the virus.
  • The company disclosed that the employee had contracted COVID-19, violating ADA privacy laws.
  • The company ignored social-distancing measures.

Taking Action

So what can be done to mitigate the risks of EPLI claims that have risen because of the coronavirus?

  • Stay up to date on the latest COVID-19 protocols and guidelines.
  • Ensure employees and visitors to your building comply with safety protocols and guidelines.
  • Confirm with your insurance broker what is covered under your EPLI or BOP.

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