No self storage business is impervious to claims of sexual harassment, discrimination and wrongful termination made by employees. In today’s litigious environment, all employers would be wise to consider employment practices liability coverage to address exposures of this nature.
The most common sources of employment practices complaints consist of the following:
Sexual Harassment – Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or verbal contact or physical contact or behavior of a sexual nature that is implied or stated to be a condition of employment or that interferes with an individual’s work performance by creating a hostile, offensive or intimidating environment.
Discrimination – Termination of an employment relationship, demotion, failure or refusal to hire or promote, differential payment of wages and/or benefits or other employment actions motivated in whole or in part by the employee’s color, race, sex, national origin, sexual orientation or preference, age, religion, creed, disability status (as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act) or pregnancy status.
Wrongful Termination – Termination of an employment relationship in a manner which is in violation of any law or in breach of any employment agreement.
Due to the complexity of this coverage, working with an insurance agent is strongly advised. Be sure to discuss with your agent who is insured, the limits of insurance, whether claims expenses are included, the reporting period in which to file a claim and whether the policy includes prior acts coverage. To mitigate these exposures, documented annual employee training is imperative.
About the Author
Mike Schofield is the president and CEO of Phoenix-based MiniCo Insurance Agency, a provider of specialty insurance products and publications for the self storage industry since 1974. MiniCo has partnered with London-based Lloyd’s to offer specialty property and deductible buy-back solutions for insuring the most challenging self storage properties. MiniCo Insurance Agency, LLC, is a member of the Aran Insurance Services Group. For more information, visit MiniCo.com.