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Is EEOC a four letter word?

By Thomas M Kallman

How dangerous is employment related discrimination for your business? Areas such as sexual harassment, wrongful termination, and discrimination are subject to an ever growing number of lawsuits due to changes in federal legislation and many highly publicized cases in the news media. In the private sector these claims increased 41% from 1990 through 1995. Since 1992, when these suits were changed to decision by jury, the awards have been staggering, often with punitive damages awarded in amounts of two to three times the compensatory award. Even if the claim is unjustified, defense alone can cost from $50,000 to excess of $300,000. How would your business pay this kind of legal fee?

Job applicants, current and former employees can all file suit alleging discrimination related to sex, age, race, religion, harassment, wrongful termination, failure to promote, failure to employ, and violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act in the workplace. Any procedures you use, or fail to use can get you into legal hot water.

A comprehensive employee-relations program will help protect you and your assets. It should include good communication; thorough and consistent personnel records; keeping informed of changes in legislation; standardized hiring, promoting, and disciplinary procedures; and employment practices liability insurance.

Employment practices liability insurance is specifically excluded from most commercial general liability policies, umbrella policies, and workers’ compensation. You should contact your independent commercial insurance agent for quotes and coverage. This coverage can be affordable for all employers, big or small. Different limits and deductibles are available, and discounts are offered for strong employment practices procedures.

Any business with one or more employees can be subject to an EPL claim – no one is immune.Even with good communication, and standardized policies and procedures, you can be accused of committing an employment practices violation. Protect yourself with employment practices liability insurance.

Thomas Kallman is President and Christine Argeros is Vice President, Marketing, of TMK Risk Management Inc dba Kallman Insurance Agency at PO Box 266736, Weston, Florida 33326. The phone is 954-389-5897 and the website is Your inquiries are always welcome.

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