Employment related lawsuits remain close to their all time high. The 2014 EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission / EEOC.gov) charges handled on an annual basis has decreased over the past two years, but still remains high at 88,778. The EEOC indicates that the reduced number of charges was due in part to the Federal Government shutdown during that period. 2010, 2011, and 2012 remain the highest years on record with over 99,000 charges filed in each of those years. The top three states with the most activity are Texas, Florida and California. Add to that the hundreds of thousands of employment claims filed with state and local agencies and the numbers are staggering. The total amount recovered through all EEOC enforcement actions in 2014 was $296.1 million.
The highest number of charges in 2014 were for retaliation at 42.8% of cases, which has remained the number one cause of action since 2010. Race discrimination has remained fairly steady over the past 10 years and represented 35% of cased filed. Sex based allegations remain the third cause of action at 29.3%. Retaliation claims reached an all time high in 2014, increasing as a percentage of overall charges in almost every year since 1997. Another area of concern is the increase in class action activity targeting health care related businesses. These actions have involved employee mis-classification and uncompensated work. A 2008 class action against a California based health plan alleging mis-classification and failure to pay overtime resulted in a $5.4 million settlement.
In today's increasing litigious society, companies and non-profit organizations can ill afford to be without coverage. Employment Practices Liability (EPL) coverage is a critical tool to protect insureds for the potentially catastrophic costs of employment litigation. Even an organization with good Human Resources policies and procedures, can and will be sued. A company with appropriate employment practices is in an excellent position to defend itself in the event of employment litigation, but the cost of mounting a defense can be enormous . It is not uncommon for legal fees associated with winning an employment lawsuit to exceed $250,000. Jury Verdict Research reports that the national jury-award median for employment practice liability cases was $109,300 in 2013, up substantially from $65,460 in 2012. The median award has varied substantially over the past seven years from a low of $65,460 in 2012n to a high of $271,000 in 2011.
CIS provides primary EPL coverage on Travelers Wrap+® policy, underwritten by Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America, an issuing company of Travelers. Employment Practices Liability provides coverage for defense costs and damages related to various employment related claims, including allegations of wrongful termination, discrimination, workplace harassment and retaliation deriving from the employer-employee relationship. Optional third party wrongful acts coverage is available. Also included is Travelers Risk Management PLUS® online support system and unlimited access to employment attorneys.
CIS also underwrites excess EPL coverage on behalf of Travelers on their Excess Liability policy. Excess for BerkleyMed is written in Admiral Insurance Company or Nautilus Insurance Company, both member companies of the W.R. Berkley Company®. See Excess Page for more information.
"Nothing stated herein affects the terms, condition and coverages of any insurance policy or bond issued by any of the referenced insurers, nor does it imply that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or type of claim under any such policy or bond. Availability of coverage referenced in this document can depend on underwriting qualifications and state regulations."
Coverage underwritten by Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America and its property casualty affiliates, Hartford, CT 06183