The Author, Judy Gougeon, is the President of Gougeon Insurance Brokers.

Transcript of Video Below

The following is an Employment Practices Liability claim example used for illustrative purposes only. Please remember that only the insurance policy can give actual terms, coverage, amounts and exclusions.

The Claim Example

This is a story about Jane. Jane was employed by a local manufacturing company. Jane was noticing that she wasn’t being promoted, but saw that those with the same ethnic origins as the company owner were promoted.

She filed a complaint under the Human Rights Legislation, alleging that she had been discriminated against because of her race, colour, ancestry, and ethnic origin.

Jane succeeded in her complaint and the manufacturing company was required to pay her lost wages. Insurers also paid a defense cost in the amount of $65,000.

Employment Practices Liability

Employment Practices Liability Insurance provides coverage to employers against claims made by employees alleging discrimination (based on sex, race, age or disability), wrongful termination, harassment and other employment-related issues, such as failure to promote.

For a good part of 2018, the #MeToo movement has been prevalent in the media. What does this mean to you and the business you manage?

As your risk and insurance advisors, we at Gougeon are often supporting our clients on employment practice liability issues, as it is a risk issue. It is a very sensitive topic, one in which businesses sometimes shy away from wanting to discuss.

Cost of Employment Practices Liability

The reality is that employment practices liability can be costly due to the following:

  • Legal fees
  • Staff hours lost to investigate
  • Decrease in staff morale
  • Brand reputation
  • Productivity

We feel it’s an opportunity for us to relook at our organizations with a new lens to create a more safe, healthy, and strong workplace.

Employment practice liability issues are prevalent and real. Policies, procedures, and training are necessary, and you’re doing that. As you look toward the future, look also to build a strong, positive work culture.

What Top Performing Companies are Doing

Here’s some feedback that we see top performing companies doing:

  • 1. Have Vision: Do the work, if you haven’t already, and create a clear vision statement for your company. Ask staff what they perceive the culture to be and if they have ideas for changes and improvement.
  • 2. Designate a Culture Owner: Pick someone on the company who is passionate about leading a change in your company’s culture and who can guide others in the right direction. This also includes hiring people who fit well into your culture.
  • 3. Have Management Jump on Board: Culture is shaped by how the leaders of your organization act and lead.
  • 4. Communication and Transparency: Communicate your culture to your team and ensure they understand it. Reward those who advance your culture. And be open and honest with those who don’t.
  • 5. Keep the Door Wide Open: Make your staff feel that your door is always open and you’re willing to listen to their ideas, opinions, challenges, and successes.
  • 6. Say Thank You: Show your team how appreciative you are of all their hard work; this goes a long way. Establish reward programs for excellent performance.

It’s inspiring to come to work when you have a positive work culture. The word “culture” might seem a little fluffy, but positive culture drives positive results. And we believe that it drives employment practices liability exposure down. And that makes room for your organization’s continued success.

Risk Solution: Workplace Harassment Training

Need to provide the mandatory workplace sexual harassment training to your staff in order to meet legislation?

Let us coordinate!

Gougeon in partnership with Ryley Learning are pleased to provide a high quality, convenient, and cost-effective on-line learning course on workplace sexual harassment.

Contact us to learn more: 1.800.461.1106 or

Read more about legislation requirements and additional employment practices liability case studies in our related blog post, “It will never happen to me! Employment Practices”.

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Topics: employment practices liability, staff training and documentation, workplace harassment, occupational health and safety, workplace health, workplace policies and procedures

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