Many health care employers are finding that employment-related legal claims have been on the rise in recent years. These claims can come from current, former, and even prospective staff, and can affect all types of employers within this field. This includes home care agencies, hospice firms, and even medical staffing firms. Understanding where employment claims may come from, and what employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) entails, is just as important as being covered with the right Health Care Management Liability policy.
What is Employment Practices Liability Insurance?
This insurance policy financially protects health care organizations against claims from workers and applicants that allege their legal rights have been violated by the employer. According to the Insurance Information Institute (iii), most suits of this nature to date have been filed against larger businesses. This does not mean that small to mid-sized companies are immune, and EPLI coverage is a necessary component of an overall management liability program for any size health care organization.
What Does EPLI Protect Against?
There are a variety of employee lawsuits that health care agencies may face, including claims of:
- Sexual Harassment
- Wrongful Termination
- Breach of Employment Contract
- Negligent Evaluation
- Failure to Employ or Promote
- Wrongful Discipline
- Deprivation of Career Opportunity
- Wrongful Infliction of Emotional Distress
EPLI often provides the insured home care or hospice firm with financial reimbursement for defense costs and other legal fees should a claim make it to court, in addition to any damages or settlement that may be owed to the claimant.
How can EPLI Claims be Prevented?
There are certainly steps that health care employers can take to significantly lower risk, including but not limited to:
- Reviewing employment loss exposures with their insurance broker/carrier
- Developing a detailed employee policy handbook
- Creating clear job descriptions
- Conducting periodic performance reviews
- Conducting background checks on incoming staff
- Creating an effective record-keeping system to document employee issues as they arise.
- Adhering to federal and state regulations and guidelines regarding employment
How Much Does EPLI Cost?
This depends on a variety of factors. How many people does the health care organization employ? What type of formal Human Resources department do they have? Have there been Any prior lawsuits? What does employee turnover look like? These factors as well as if the health care firm has established documentation of rules and regulations will factor into determining the cost of an EPLI policy.
At Manchester Specialty Programs, we understand the management liability risks employers face when running a home care agency, hospice care facility, or medical staffing firm. As changes take place within this industry and with health care overall, it’s imperative for these organizations to ensure they are financially protected from any legal claims that may occur.
Our comprehensive home health care and hospice provider insurance program is designed to help these agencies continue to provide the important services they offer throughout our communities. We deliver specialty insurance programs that are specifically designed for home care and hospice firms in both medical and support roles. Our employment practices liability insurance carriers are well versed and experienced in this coverage, and offer excellent wrap around loss control services such as online HR tools and handbooks. To find out more about our operation and all our specialty insurance programs, you or your local insurance broker can give us a call today at 855-972-9399.