HOURS: Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 4:30pm

413.586.0111

413.586.6481 (fax)
8 North King Street
Northampton, MA 01060

Newsletter

8May. 2013

Tips For Better Business Peace of Mind

As the father of 18-year-old fraternal twins, I am no stranger to communication challenges. Though they are twins, my son and daughter are very different and have diverse interests. Guiding and nurturing their development required patience, learning from mistakes, and making judgment calls daily. It still does!

As business owners, we know that managing employees requires the same skills – patience, learning from mistakes and making judgment calls all day long. We try to get it right at least most of the time. And we try to foster a positive working environment.

But life isn’t perfect and sometimes communication can break down or turn bad. We’ve all lost sleep replaying situations in our heads, thinking about how we could have handled it better. And as business owners, we’ve also lost sleep over the actions of our managers and supervisors from time to time.

Despite our best efforts, dissention among staff and managerial errors can lead an employee claim of inappropriate conduct to our door. While every employer must face the threat of job-related lawsuits, there are ways to protect your business in the event of legal action taken by a past, present or potential employee.

Human Resources professionals can help mitigate risks to some degree with policies and guidelines. These can help prevent employee lawsuits from happening in the first place. It is critical for businesses to have employee review systems in place, as well as a comprehensive employee manual that clearly states company policies regarding topics such as sexual harassment. This is your first line of defense against employee legal action.

To protect your business fully, you also need Employment Practices Liability Insurance.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) offers insurance protection from claims and lawsuits that are brought against a business and its employees, managers, officers or directors. These policies generally cover charges in the following areas:

· Gender, age and other types of discrimination
· Sexual harassment
· Wrongful termination or discipline
· Negligent compensation, promotion or hiring decisions
· Employee benefits mismanagement

Employment practice lawsuits can be an enormous distraction and take valuable time away from running your business. Defense costs for these types of suits can add up quickly, and settlement can be very expensive if an insurance policy is not in place.

If you have an EPLI policy, the defense of a claim is directly turned over to the insurance company. Your involvement in the decisions regarding litigation and settlement is limited, leaving more time to focus on the day to day details of your business.

EPLI coverage is a critical risk-management tool for your company. Please call if you have any questions about EPLI coverage. Or about raising twins! I’ll do my best to answer both.

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