• How To Minimize Your Risk When Employing Domestic Staff

    How To Minimize Your Risk When Employing Domestic Staff October 5, 2017

    by Michelle L. Hirsch, Senior Vice President

    Employing domestic staff like nannies, housekeepers, drivers, chefs, gardeners, and personal assistants can be invaluable to your busy lifestyle. However, they can pose a liability risk by leaving you vulnerable to lawsuits related to claims of wrongful termination, privacy issues, discrimination, or harassment. Even if you’re innocent, the costs to defend yourself can be considerable.

    Homeowner’s and Umbrella Insurance Aren’t Enough

    A typical homeowner’s insurance and excess personal liability insurance policy does not cover lawsuits related to wrongful employment practices. As an employer, you need insurance that treats you like the business owner you are where your staff are concerned.

    The Right Coverage for Domestic Staff Employers

    Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) protects you from claims based on wrongful employment practices. While an EPLI endorsement can be added to existing insurance, the coverage is usually limited and may not cover your specific claim. A standalone EPLI policy features broader coverage.

    What Does Employment Practices Liability Insurance Cover?

    EPLI protects you against claims related to the following:

    • wrongful termination
    • harassment
    • discrimination
    • defamation
    • invasion of privacy
    • mental anguish
    • emotional distress
    • assault and battery
    • breach of contract
    • negligence

    Claim Examples from My Clients

    • A gardener was fired for habitual tardiness. He sued his employer for wrongful termination, claiming that he was never advised of set working hours.
    • A housekeeper was let go because her employer regarded her performance as inadequate. When the former housekeeper discovered her replacement was younger, she sued for wrongful termination and age discrimination.
    • A nanny suddenly quit and claimed her employer’s husband was making inappropriate comments to her when they were alone in the house. She filed a sexual harassment lawsuit.
    • A personal chef sued for back pay, claiming he was on call 24×7 but was never paid overtime given the 40-hour-per-week agreement in his contract. He made malicious comments on social media about his employer that get picked up by the local TV station, tarnishing his employer’s reputation.
    • A driver was fired without warning after 10 years of service. He sued for wrongful termination and discrimination, claiming to have overheard his employer’s new wife making negative comments about his race.

    Protect yourself, your family, and your assets from the risks of employing domestic staff by securing Employment Practices Liability Insurance on your personal insurance policy. Let’s discuss — I can help! Give me a call today at 800-686-8080.