How California EPLI Insurance Helps Protect Your Business from New Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation Prevention Exposures

If you don’t know, now you know, as of April 1st 2016, California has introduced a new policy with new regulations aiming to “create a workplace environment that is free from employment practices prohibited by the act” (Section 11023B). In simpler terms, this policy wants to make sure everyone is treated fairly at their workplace, void of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.

The main aspect of the new policy requires all employers with 5 or more employees to “develop a harassment, discrimination, and retaliation prevention policy” (Section 11023B). This policy should educate and give some guidance to employees who either want to report harassment or discrimination or avoid being accused of such. Therefore, it requires employers to establish a “complaint process” in which employees feel comfortable discussing their troubles (Section 11023B4). The policy should let the employees know with whom exactly they can place a complaint. It should be someone they would feel comfortable speaking to and know it will be kept confidential, like a human resources representative. The policy also gives a detailed description on what the complaint process should consist of from “a timely response”  once a complaint has been made to ensuring “employees shall not be exposed to retaliation” due to them “lodging a complaint”(Section 11023Bb,10). You must also provide employees with a written copy of the harassment, discrimination, and retaliation prevention policy” or give them access to it electronically. In addition to providing that policy, if your business has 10% or more employees “who speak a language other than English” you must have the policy translated to that language. For example, if 50% of your employees speak English and the other 50% speak Spanish, you must have the policy in both English and Spanish.

Now that you are aware of some of the new regulations, you may be asking yourself, is my business covered? Am I protected? Do I have the right insurance coverage?

This new policy is aimed to further protect those already protected under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, those being, race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, physical and/or mental disability, and more.  What this policy does not protect you, as an employer from, are any claims made against you associated with these protections. This is where insurance comes in, because having an EPLI policy does protect you!

EPLI or Employment Practices Liability insurance is a type of insurance that specifically aims to help protect an employer from certain types of claims. These claims range from wrongful terminations, various types of discrimination, and other related allegations. EPLI also protects you from liabilities that may arise due to mistakes with handling a disagreement or even a situation between an employee and a third party vendor. This type of insurance is not typically covered or included in your standard general liability or even workers compensation insurance policies.

Large businesses have a higher risk of having one of the aforementioned claims filed against them and thus, EPLI is a necessity! Small businesses on the other hand, tend to overlook this type of insurance, hoping to avoid yet another cost. Unfortunately, it is small businesses which often cannot afford or survive a lawsuit of this type of claim. Therefore, whether you have 5 employees or 500, you need to protect your business with employment practices liability insurance and luckily getting an EPLI quote is as easy as contacting the right insurance agency, and that’s where JVRC insurance services comes in. They make receiving a quote easy by offering an online form on their website or calling their main office. One of their experienced agents can give you an Employment Practices liability insurance quote and walk you through all the steps to get your business protected.

Know the regulations and make sure you’re covered.  While I have given you a brief description of the important changes to be aware of, one might find it beneficial to read the “Official California Code of Regulations on Harassment and Discrimination Prevention and Correction”. You might have to make some changes because this new policy might force you to review your existing policies to either make sure you are in compliance with the new regulations or get started on the changes.

One simple change might be to update your employee handbook, but you may need to do more. One step in particular can help you with all of your concerns and even make understanding all the new regulations stress free, getting an EPLI quote. Purchasing Employment Practices Liability insurance is an easy step to take to make sure you are protected from a lawsuit, which could otherwise cripple your company. This task while seemingly challenging, is made easy when you find the right insurance agency to help you along the way, especially, when you work with an agency that can help make sense of the new regulations regarding Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation and any new policies that may be implemented in the future. JVRC insurance services are the perfect partner to help you comply with these regulations and get you covered properly with EPLI. Give us a call at 818-735-7600 or message them right from their website to get an employment practices liability practices policy quote today. Bottom line: Comply with these new California regulations; protect yourself, and your employees with EPLI insurance, it’s that easy.