- The Washington Post reports a dramatic increase in the number of companies buying insurance policies for sexual harassment claims. The increase follows a rash of high-profile complaints.
- Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) can cover a wide variety of things, from sexual harassment to employment discrimination. According to the Post, EPLI has spread quickly from mostly large corporations to small and midsize companies in the past decade.
- Critics of EPLI say the coverage does nothing to reduce harassment, according to the Post.
EPLI can provide employers with financial protection against costly claims, but addresses each situation individually. It doesn't let HR off the hook when it comes to policies, prevention and enforcement. Training and discipline remain important.
Employers also may want to draft a plan for addressing harassment that works alongside an EPLI plan. For harassment victims or witnesses, the use of EPLI might be viewed as brushing allegations "under the rug" with a payout, as explained in the Post's report. Part of this can include harassment prevention training that encourages workers to come forward with complaints, without fear of retaliation.