When it comes to operating healthcare facilities, insurance programs are essential to protect against financial losses of almost any kind. Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) for healthcare facilities, is built to protect the facilities from a large variety of employment issues that can arise during the operation of their business. From wrongful termination to harassment and other related issues, EPLI policies offer coverage for all different types of claims and can be customized to cover all employees and contractors, including volunteers and part time workers.
Some policies may even include third-party coverage for discrimination or sexual harassment. This portion of insurance is almost essential for healthcare facilities, as employees come into regular physical contact with patients and the family members of patients.
After a healthcare facility has selected their EPLI policy, there are steps they can take to reduce the likelihood of having to go through the claims process too often. Below are some ways of protecting against EPLI claims in healthcare facilities.
- Create a written policy for the company regarding reporting harassment issues. Having a clear understanding of expectations can help smooth out the reporting process and set clear expectations.
- Train all supervisors and management on dealing with sexual harassment issues. Additionally, holding basic training for all employees, possibly as a part of onboarding, is helpful in ensuring all staff members are on the same page when it comes to harassment issues. Some states, like California, have recently passed laws that add additional requirements for employers regarding sexual harassment training.
- Adjust staffing to have two people in the room for exams or visits if possible. Since healthcare employees are likely to come in contact with patients who may have some diminished mental capacity, unwelcome incidents and misunderstandings may occur and proper supervision is key.
- Review/implement workplace fairness laws, as required by your federal state or government. Keep records. Do your due diligence. Investigate when necessary, but keep records of all potential complaints and your employee practices.
- Have the company’s Human Resources (HR) department involved as soon as possible from the moment a complaint is filed. HR should be the point people on complaints, and should be keeping records of conversations, incidents and any related events. This will come in handy in case the complaint does turn into a lawsuit.
When it comes to employee and workplace lawsuits, an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure. However, when prevention doesn’t cover your customer, make sure they’re covered with their EPLI policy.
About Highland Risk Services
At Highland Risk, we use our expertise and experience to provide insurance information and programs to those who serve long-term care and senior living facilities. Since 2007, we’ve been offering insurance and risk management plans designed to help our agents give their clients the ability to achieve continued growth while simultaneously protecting against loss, containing costs and increasing profitability. With offices to serve you in Chicago, Illinois and Phoenix, Arizona, we do everything we can to make your experience with us as professional and transparent as possible. To learn more, contact us at (847) 832-9100.