New Enhancements in Employment Practices Liability Coverage

Posted by Catherine Kopera Jul, 2017 Categories: #ProTips EPLI Insurance News Spotlight

ABA Insurance Services announces two new enhancements that Great American has added to their Employment Practices Liability policy*: (1) Violation of Immigration Law and (2) Workplace Violence.

These endorsements address current and growing concerns of business owners regarding immigration laws and workplace violence. These coverage extensions are automatic and will be added at policy renewal or at new business binding.

With the recent political focus on illegal immigration, more businesses should expect to receive scrutiny from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. To address this exposure, some insurance carriers are now offering an immigration coverage endorsement on Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) policies. Base EPLI policies do not cover immigration law violations and this new coverage extension fills the gap.

An Immigration Violation coverage endorsement covers the costs to defend your business up to $100,000 against criminal investigations stemming from unintentional violations of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 or any similar state or federal laws.

Example: Joe’s HVAC company has been in business since 1987. Two of his employees have been there since the business’ inception, being hired in early 1987. When Joe hired them, he was unaware that he had an obligation to verify the identity and employment authorization of any new hires after 1986, due to changes in immigration law. Neither employee had the appropriate authorization to work in the US. Due to recent actions by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, both employees were deported and criminal charges were brought against Joe’s business for immigration law violations. Joe’s EPLI policy was endorsed to provide Defense Cost coverage for such immigration violations. His defense counsel successfully defended Joe by proving this was an unintentional mistake and not a willful violation of the law.

Workplace violence is violence or the threat of violence toward someone on the job. Workplace violence ranges from physical assault to robbery to homicide. Employees most at risk are those who work with the public as well as those who work alone or at night.

To address this exposure, many carriers provide up to $250,000 Workplace Violence Expense Endorsement to their EPLI policies, this coverage reimburses the insured for certain expenses stemming from a covered workplace violence event, including:

  • Loss of income (up to 90 days)
  • The cost of a public relations consultant to help mitigate adverse publicity (up to 90 days)
  • Fees and expenses for an independent security consultant (up to 90 days)
  • Independent security guard services (up to 30 days)
  • Independent forensic services (up to 90 days)
  • A counseling seminar for employees
  • Employees’ salaries (up to 90 days for those victimized by the incident)
  • Replacement-employees’ salaries (up to 90 days)

Example: An employee, who was being stalked by his former girlfriend, obtained a restraining order against her and notified his employer about the situation. A week later, the ex-girlfriend entered the company’s building and threatened the employee while waiving a screwdriver in his face. The company paid for a security consultant to assess the situation and provided additional security on premises for 6 weeks until the ex-girlfriend was arrested for violating the restraining order several times.

Effective July 1, 2017. At policy renewal or new business binding, customers of ABA Insurance Services who have EPLI policies issued by Great American Insurance Company will be granted:

  • Automatic policy extension of $100,000 of Defense Costs for Immigration Practices Wrongful Acts, and
  • A sublimit of $250,000 for certain expenses associated with Workplace Violence Acts

* ​Not available in CA, MA, NH, VA