Week 5 Task 12

Reply to post in 100 words or more.

electronic reading posted by SABRINA GREEN

While reading the article “Employment Practices Liability Coverage”, I found this information to be very helpful.

A few decades ago there was no such thing as EPLI coverage. Instead, “general liability” policies that protected companies from personal injury suits also applied to employment-related claims alleging emotional distress, among other things. This coverage for employment claims under general liability policies eroded as insurers obtained court rulings eliminating coverage for the average wrongful termination, discrimination and similar suits on the basis that most claimants asserted emotional distress rather than physical injury. Since general liability policies typically insured only claims for physical injury, insurers successfully excluded the garden-variety employment related claim.

Even if the plaintiff alleges a physical problem related to the employment action, general liability policies require the “bodily injury” to be caused by an “occurrence,” defined as “an accident.” Insurers argued successfully in many state courts that many of the acts or omissions alleged in employment cases were not “accidents.” For example, insurers contended that a decision to demote, terminate or reassign an employee, or group of employees, was intentional, not accidental, even if the decision-maker intended to help rather than harm the employee. Insurers went so far as to contend that claims of disparate impact from neutral policies (such as layoffs based on seniority) arose from intentional rather than accidental conduct, since the neutral employment policy was intentionally adopted, even though any discriminatory effect was unintended.

Employee Relations Law Journal. Summer2004, Vol. 30 Issue 1, p65-79. 15p.

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