Cravens Warren

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    Houston, TX 77040
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Top Liability Concerns for Employers

Aug 8, 2011

Source:  One Beacon Professional Liability Insurance

As the economy continues to struggle, the number of work place lawsuits continue to rise.  Laurie Sablak, Assistant Vice President, Management Liability for OBPI, takes a look at the top Ten Concerns facing employers during 2011-2012.

Please note these are general guidelines. 

Number One:  Retaliation
Reason:  Cause of action with the greatest increase in frequency in recent years (EEOC Statistics).  Difficulty in defending.

Number Two:  Age Discrimination
Reason:  Tough Economy; Baby boomers looking to keep working amid corporate downsizing efforts.  Highest median aware for claims brought in a state court.  (Jury Verdict Research Data)

Number Three:  Disability Discrimination and FMLA Issues
Reason:  Recent amendments to the ADA increase the number of people defined as individuals with a disability.  Under the FMLA, military leave provisions and hte change to the medical certification process are poorly understood issues among many employers.

Number Four:  Race Discrimination
Reason:  Most frequently alleged type of discrimination (Per EEOC Statistics).  Workforce is increasingly racially diverse due to population trends.

Number Five:  Wage and Hour Discrimination
Reason:  Misclassification (exempt/ non-exempt, independent contractor/ employee), overtime, tips, and rest and meal periods have been the subject of investigations by the US Department of Labor.  Over 200 new DOL investigators were hired in 2010;  more to follow. 

Number Six:  Social Media
Reason:  Little regulation exists in this area.  Failure of many employers to have social media policies or preparation for events/ issues related to social media, increased torts exposure (defamation, invasion of privacy)

Number Seven:  Harassment
Reasons:  33 percent increase in EEOC harassment charges from 2006 to 2008.

Number Eight:  Gender and Sexual Orientation
Reasons:  Lilly Ledbetter Act regarding back wage claims for gender disparity in pay.  Difference in sexual orientation protections under various state laws.

Number Nine:  Class Action

Reasons:  Large employer exposure with high damage potential.