Employment Practices Liability How WE Can Help you.

December 16, 2011

According to A national Insurance Carrier, working with specialty underwriters from Lloyd's of London, (E Risk Services)  and, studying some Employment Practices Liability EPL Filed Complaints and Charge Receipt Statistics (EEOC Data)

  • In 2000, claimants filed 79,896 charges with the EEOC; a 16% increase over 1999; and that was over 10 years ago!
  • The number of settlements increased by 42%;
  • The amount of monetary benefits increased by 16%; and
  • The largest area of resolved complaints is merit resolutions. Merit resolutions are charges with outcomes favorable to the charging party.
  • For further information, check out the EEOC website directly.

EPL Charge Statistics (EEOC Data)

Charge Filed

% of Total







National Origin




Our Physician Policyholder's are subject to allegations of misconduct from their employees, independent contractors, associates, affiliated and unaffiliated; other physicians with whom they work.

With the increasing number of entities, facilities, schedulers, risk managers, consultants, billing handlers, data processors, referrals on line, off line, assistants and colleagues in and out of the hospital, it is an increasing likelihood that at some point in your career you will face the ugly and unsettling allegation of some relationship misconduct.

The Doctors' Insurance Agency has worked closely with The Doctors' Company to introduce and to represent discounted Employers' Insurance.  Employer's Insurance is actually referred to as Employment Practices Liability;

Our experience is: if we issue both policies (med mal and employment practices liab), and, if they are both handled by one office and two different underwriters, we will be able to watch and advocate through the process carefully and with strength.

You should receive the discounted rate, which rewards you for carrying your medical malpractice insurance with The Doctors' Company, through The Doctors' Insurance Agency. Our agent experts will walk your application and your office through the process from first conversation to issuing the policy.  The Rate includes a low deductible and a surprisingly low premium per year. 

Once issued, our agents will assist you and your office with the risk management tools that are available with this product from NAS, Lloyd's.

The common types of employment practices liability claims are:

  • Race and Sex Discrimination
  • Employees, former employees and employment applicants:

- Wrongful termination

- Discharge in Violation of Public Policy

- Invasion of Privacy

- Assault and Battery

- Emotional Distress

- Harassment / Discrimination

- Breach of contract

- Defamation

  • Regulatory Violations and Government Investigations:

- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

- Equal Pay Act (EPA)

- Department of Labor (DOL)

- Title VII

- Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)

- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

- Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

- Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

  • Federal, State, City and County Statutes
  • Customers, clients and consumer groups

HOW we can help you, we can work with consultants and attorneys and the insurance experts who process these claims with :

  • Hiring Process
    • Develop an employment application.
    • Require all applicants to complete and sign the application form.
    • Develop and update job descriptions.
    • The interview process must only support questions that are job-related.
    • Exercise caution in reference checking.
    • Provide a written offer of employment.
  • Personnel Policies / Employee Handbooks
    • Written material should contain a clear disclaimer of any promise of job security.
    • Make it clear that the handbook and other written policies are not intended to be an employment contract.
    • An employment “at-will” statement should be clearly defined, if the employer maintains an at-will employment relationship.
    • Use clear and concise language.
    • Specifically allow for flexibility and modification.
    • Include a handbook acknowledgment form.
    • Periodically review, update and distribute to employees.
    • Be alert of any changes in law that may affect any handbook provisions.
    • All written materials should be reviewed by an attorney.
  • Employee Evaluations
    • Conduct regularly scheduled performance evaluations.
    • Promote meaningful evaluations to help avoid future surprises.
    • Focus of the evaluation should be a motivation tool.
    • Conduct supervisor training to reinforce familiarity and importance with the evaluation process.
    • All evaluations should be reviewed by another manager to prevent bias.
    • Implement a uniform rating system that is job-related.
    • Give the employee an opportunity to respond to the evaluation.
    • Require supervisors to identify specific performance goals as part of the evaluation process.
  • Disciplinary Action
    • Properly drafted documentation is critical.
    • Assume that all documentation can end up in the courtroom.
    • Tell the whole story and state expectations for future performance.
    • Clearly state consequences of future violations or not meeting performance expectations.
    • All documentation should be labeled “confidential”.
    • Adhere to disciplinary standards and apply them uniformly; oral warnings, written warnings, suspension and termination.
  • Termination
    • Adopt a well thought out termination policy with a focus on fairness and consistency.
    • Respect employee’s dignity throughout the termination process.
    • Use common sense – “on the spot” decisions/actions do have good outcomes.
    • All termination decisions should be reviewed by a single person in the company.
    • Post-termination conduct can lead to defamation, emotional distress or deliberate interference with the employee’s pursuit to become gainfully employed.
  • Layoffs
    • Document all aspects of the layoff, including criteria used during each phase of the process.
    • Reduction goals should be stated in numbers not in savings
    • Decision-making should be made by two or more management personnel.
    • Assume that all communication regarding the layoff is discoverable.
    • Reductions should apply across the board and should not favor certain types of employees.
    • Review all handbook, written policies/procedures, employee benefit information and appropriate laws to ensure smooth handling of all issues relating to the layoffs.