Top Liability Concerns for Employers
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.