It appears that the age of the discrimination-based lawsuit may be drawing to a close.
According to a new report from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, overall charges of employment discrimination against employers are declining. The number of charges filed in 2014 reflect a general downward trend over recent fiscal years.
Certain types of discrimination charges, however, are flourishing. Claims alleging employer retaliation against a worker for involvement in a complaint reached its highest ever level, representing 42.8% of all claims filed in 2014.
The second most common allegation, race discrimination, remained steady at 35% while discrimination based on sex represented 29.3% of all claims.
Among the top 10 causes of employment discrimination claims, the most common issue continues to be discharge, followed by allegations of harassment.
The numbers represent interesting implications for insurance producers servicing commercial accounts. While employment practices liability insurance is now considered a standard form of coverage, actual market penetration is low and training received along with the policy may need to be adjusted according to where employers are most vulnerable.
The increasing number of allegations of retaliation, for example, suggests a heightened need to stress fair employment practices training and perhaps a reassessment of coverage limits.
Just 30% of private companies have an EPLI policy in place, data from Chubb Corp. found, while 60% believe they are covered for such exposures under their commercial general liability policy.
Despite this, more than 22% of private companies surveyed by Chubb acknowledged that an EPL lawsuit would cause “the most financial damage to the company.”
Note: The percentages displayed in the infographic add up to more than 100 as some charges allege multiple bases.
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