Employment – EPLI – Lawsuit

Employee Lawsuits Happen to Small Businesses Like Yours

All kinds of businesses and organizations are sued every day— and that is just as true for jewelry stores, museums, galleries and related businesses. Claims for discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination and retaliation are increasingly common. Almost all of them will require attorneys to defend you, and that can be as costly as any settlement or verdict.We can protect you at an affordable premium with Employment Practices Liability Insurance—before a lawsuit happens.
Free Legal Help
An EPLI policy from Berkley Asset Protection also gives you access to Legal and Human Resource help, free of charge. We offer a Loss Control Website with employee handbook policies, compliance checklists and training resources, so you can prevent claims like the ones reported here. In addition, a Legal Hotline gives you the ability to call an employment law attorney and get practical answers to your questions, free of charge. You do not have to be sued to take advantage of these services. The value of these Legal and Human Resource services can exceed the total cost of EPLI coverage, and they can help you avert costly and disruptive lawsuits. These services come automatically with the purchase of Employment Practices Liability Insurance from us.

What is it worth?

After the attacks of September 11, 2001, an Afghan-American Muslim employee was ostracized by his coworkers. One falsely reported him to the authorities as a suspected terrorist. The museum terminated his employment without notice, allegedly for taking excessive time to complete security rounds. However, other security guards had taken as long or longer and were not disciplined. He filed a charge with the EEOC, who sued on his behalf.

The museum settled for $60,000.

More Claims — All of these lawsuits resulted in employee verdicts or settlements

Jewelry Store—Sexual Harassment and Wrongful Discharge

A retail salesperson alleged that she was abused by the store owner and his son. She also claimed that they touched her inappropriately, offered to trade sex for jewelry and slapped her. She complained about the behavior, but neither made an effort to stop the situation. When she and a co-worker considered opening their own store, the owners found out and fired her. The lawsuit went to a jury—and a verdict against the store.

Museum—Discrimination and Retaliation

A museum employee worked as a program manager for nearly 30 years, when she was reassigned to a historic preservation facility. She claimed that the transfer resulted in lower pay, and that it was in response to her opposition to returning certain objects to their communities of origin. She sued for violations of civil rights and free speech, as well as retaliation and breach of contract. The museum paid to settle the lawsuit.

Jewelry Designer—Discrimination and Retaliation

A gay jewelry designer contended that he was subjected to abuse regarding his sexual orientation. He reported the comments and behavior to the CFO, who in turn alerted the owner. He was fired the next business day. The owner said that the comments were only good-natured banter and that the termination was in response to the employee’s threats involving other workers. The jury found a hostile work environment and awarded him damages for emotional distress.

Jewelry Store—Retaliation

A manager of a jewelry retailer that sold custom jewelry complained about a store policy that penalized employees for customer theft. She reported the practice to state authorities, and the store was forced to reimburse employees. She was terminated on the grounds of her being uncooperative with management and customers. The jury took her side, and found unlawful retaliation.

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