Friday, January 27, 2012

"Retro" is always in fashion with E&O insurance

Retro is more than just a fashion statement.  It is the beginning of time as far as E&O policies are concerned.  Most E&O policies are "Claims-Made" policies, which means that the policy that is in force when the claim is made will be the policy that responds. 

Often, E&O claims are not discovered until much later.  For example, a consultant may forget to inform a client on a pertinent point in 2011, but the client doesn't incur damages as a result until 2013.  Under "Claims-Made" the policy in effect in 2013 will be the policy that responds to the claim.

Your E&O policy declarations will show a "Retroactive Date" or "Retro date."  The policy will not provide coverage for acts (or errors & omissions) that occurred before this date.  In order to ensure continuous coverage, make sure the Retro Date doesn't change as your policy moves forward year after year.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

From Hartford: Undocumented Worker Discrimination

This is an excerpt from an article on HartfordHelp, a website published by The Hartford Insurance Group, dedicated to educating companies about employment liability risks.  It's a great resource for anyone with employees.
"Employers that demand documents proving citizenship or immigration status after hire risk discrimination claims. Demanding immigration or citizenship documents after the fact, combined with an adverse employment decision, gives the appearance of immigration-related national origin discrimination. This is one reason why employers should demand these documents at the time of hire and not later. Once an employee accepts an offer for employment, Section 1 of the 1-9 Form should be completed on the first day of work and Section 2 no later than the 3rd day"...More here.
The article discusses a recent case regarding Immigration Discrimination and offers these tips to help prevent such discrimination in your workplace (taken from the article):
Review your documentation requirements to ensure that they are practiced with consistency and do not require more or different documentation than required by law.

If documentation looks genuine, do not overly scrutinize it or demand different documents.

Train your managers, supervisors and all employees who participate in hiring, firing and working with immigrants that the discrimination laws, including the laws prohibiting national origin discrimination, extend to immigrants including non-citizens of the United States.

At the same time, establish standards to make certain to only hire authorized individuals, whether U.S. citizens or not. This would include making certain that all new hires complete I-9 forms properly. Document your due diligence when determining immigration status.

Retaliation against employees for exercising rights under the INA is prohibited. Make sure to train all employees about anti-retaliation laws. Take all complaints seriously and investigate immediately.

Investigate if termination or resignation of immigrants is high under particular managers.

Remember that employers must also comply with all applicable state laws protecting immigrants.