By now, we have all seen the profound effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on individuals and society. Businesses that create livelihoods across the country have shut down or limited hours at their physical locations to support critical social distancing practices. While the majority of wood businesses are deemed essential and still operating to some capacity, the pandemic has brought up broad sweeping concerns about employment practices as a record number of Americans file for unemployment.
You no doubt have considered how shutdowns are affecting your customers. Staffing and operational changes are increasing their exposures, perhaps faster than they realize. In particular, staffing changes raise questions about potential employment practices claims. We have been talking with our insureds about the importance of employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) as a critical risk management tool for employers.
The COVID-19 shutdowns have forced some businesses, including those in the lumber and woodworking industries, to cut back on staff. This may expose businesses to an increased risk of incurring wrongful termination claims. For example, former employees may attempt to argue their termination was not performance-based and due to exigent circumstances.
Employment practices liability claims are a timely issue right now and can serve as a significant financial setback, particularly during economic uncertainty. Brokers can provide their clients with critical protection from these risks by encouraging them to consider an EPLI policy with PLM.
Included with the EPLI policy is access to plmilm.EmployerProtection.net, a valuable website with content including legal requirements, best practices and sample forms and policies. Also included is complimentary access to a legal advice line to get general counsel on employment issues from an experienced attorney. These resources equip them with an HR consultant and legal expert at their fingertips.
If you have any questions on EPLI or are interested in securing EPLI coverage for your clients, please contact us at 1.800.752.1895 or CustServ@plmins.com — we remain available throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.