These are questions often asked when the
Safe at Work Policy is first introduced. Additional questions are welcome and may be added
here, and help to shape the policy itself.

FAQs

What is Employment Practices Liability Insurance?


EPLI is insurance coverage that businesses purchase to protect themselves against claims by workers that their legal rights as employees of the company have been violated. EPLI provides protection against many kinds of employee lawsuits, including claims of sexual harassment. 'Protection' involves reimbursement of the costs of defending a lawsuit in court and for judgments and settlements, and the policy often becomes more expensive, depending on similar, historical claims. An endorsement, like the “Safe at Work Policy” proposed here, changes the terms and conditions of an EPLI policy to incentivize a business to protect its own employees and terminate workplace harassers, whereas a traditional EPLI policy fails to accomplish this.




How are we defining sexual harassment?


Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. Both survivor and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the survivor and harasser can be the same sex. Harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the survivor being fired or demoted), but any such behavior is intolerable and constitutes sexual harassment in the workplace. Harassers can be a supervisor, co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.




Could the Safe at Work Policy address other workplace violations?


Absolutely. EPLI also covers workplace discriminition, including sexism, racism, ageism, and other related prejudice behaviors. The Safe at Work Policy can broadly address issues based in workplace prejudice.




Why does insurance coverage currently function in this way?


Insurance policies are built with the "duty to defend" in mind. The process of defending a company has historically been pursued with the beneficiaries of that defense being the management and shareholders (those who make money from the business) of a company. However, capitalism is evolving. It has become clear that businesses which center stakeholders (including shareholders, employees, its customers and community, the environment and the future) are more successful, making better corporate citizens and more profit. The data supporting this evolution of capitalism also necessitates a realignment of insurance policy practices, to support the new priorities of clients. Insurance is the sole intrinsic third party when it comes to matters of harassment, and there is the opportunity for the industry to amend its current offerings, right the wrongs its current policies are causing, and emerge as a hero for the next generation of working women.




How will the Safe at Work Policy change the workplace?


The policy will create a safer, more respectful workplace. By purchasing this coverage, a corporation is promising its employees, its recruits, and its customers that it values employee well-being above all else. With this assurance, employees can develop a deeper trust and pride with an employer, and employers can expect less attrition, higher quality work from employees, and stronger recruiting capabilities. All of these benefits translate into increased earnings for a company - with the Safe at Work Policy, doing the right thing is also doing the profitable thing.
Check out The Goal for more detail on what we plan to accomplish.




The Safe at Work Policy mentions 'Exclusion 3(1)' - what is that?


Exclusion 3(1) refers to the section of an employer's policy specifically addressing sexual harassment. Insurance companies claim that 3(1) effectively isolates harassers and excludes them from coverage, but clearly, it isn't working - workplace harassment continues to plague workers. One reason it is so ineffective is that 3(1) requires a final adjudication before it can be enforced - in other words, if an employee is accused of harassment, no action can be taken against them until one (primarily the survivor, because the company is not incentivized to do this) pursues legal action and goes through an arbitration, which requires substantial time and resources. Meanwhile, the employer may continue to employ the harasser, and no isolation or exclusion can be enforced. As policies work now, the survivor is not covered until THEY PROVE that they were in fact harassed. All of this is backwards, and the Safe at Work Policy seeks to remove the burden of proof from the survivor.




Have a question that was not addressed here?


Reach out to info at safeatworkpolicy dot com with questions, and we'll do our best to respond quickly.




If I am concerned that speaking up may put my employment at risk, is there anything I can do to get involved?


If your job may be at risk by spreading awareness among your coworkers, you can speak to members of your community instead. Our goal is to make it known that currently, insurance works against those who have experienced workplace sexual harassment and assault. If you can help by building awareness of the problem and of this practical solution, then you will be part of this collective movement that reaches decision makers.