Employment discrimination laws have encouraged victims of harassment to come forward by making it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against any person with respect to race, color, religion, sex, gender, or national origin. However, harassment insurance has served to silence victims of workplace misconduct. In response to perceived threats of employment discrimination and harassment lawsuits, insurance companies began offering coverage to companies for damages associated with liability. Liability insurance protects employers from the costs of litigation associated with discrimination, workplace harassment, and wrongful termination.
Harassment insurance, otherwise known as employment practices liability insurance (EPLI), has been available since the early 1990s, and has become an increasingly common business purchase in recent years. Today, over 70 insurance companies offer EPLI plans to businesses of all sizes, ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies, making over $1.6 billion in the United States and $500 million abroad in annual insurance premiums.
Effects of Harassment Insurance
Although harassment insurance may protect the employer, it does little to protect victims of workplace misconduct. In many cases, if a victim speaks out against workplace discrimination, harassment, or abuse, insurance policies make sure that the issue is taken care of. Rather than preventing workplace misconduct from the start by enforcing strict policies against unlawful conduct, insurance policies cover mistakes and offer employers a way out by paying for potential pitfalls and litigation.
Furthermore, many insurance providers push the boundaries of compliance and offer vague terminology, making it almost impossible for victims of workplace harassment, discrimination, and assault to seek legal guidance. Large scale insurance providers work with offshore insurance companies to provide wrap around policies. Although these policies are put into practice in the United States, they are not subject to state rules because they have been written abroad. This allows insurance providers to limit the ability of state and federal civil rights laws to hold employers responsible for unlawful offenses that take place on employment property.
Insurance policies that cover breaches of employment are sending the wrong message. By covering unlawful employment practices, they are avoiding the issue at hand and allowing employers to get away with unlawful employment practices. By purchasing an EPLI plan as a failsafe means of protection, employers are also avoiding the problem. Instead of preventing workplace misconduct, EPLI plans are encouraging employers to continue to ignore the warning signs, and ultimately fail to prevent cases of workplace harassment and discrimination.
Delaware County Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Assist Victims of Workplace MisconductIf you or someone you know has experienced harassment in the workplace, you are not alone. Our experienced team of Delaware County sexual harassment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. are ready and willing to assist you with all your workplace concerns. With a conveniently located office in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, contact us online or call 215-569-1999 to schedule a free consultation, where we can assist you in receiving the justice you deserve.