Nearly a third of Americans report that businesses are not doing enough to protect them from workplace discrimination and identity theft.
A recent survey by the Chubb Group of Insurance Cos. found that one in three people surveyed said, compared to a year ago, companies are less likely to protect employees from gender discrimination (30 percent) and other workplace discrimination (32 percent). One-third (32 percent) also believe that companies are less likely to protect consumers from the theft of personal information.
Discrimination Charges Soar
“A record-high number of discrimination charges have been filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,” noted Catherine Padalino, vice president and employment practices liability product manager for Chubb. “The surge may be the result of a large number of employees who were laid off and have had difficulty finding new employment.”
Padalino says that when employers face employment discrimination charges they should conduct investigations of all charges and report them in a timely manner to their insurance company. “In addition, employers should continually review and adhere to anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation policies and procedures, keep abreast of changes in employment laws and seek outside counsel when facing discrimination charges or considering employee layoffs.”
Cyber Threats Grow
Despite corporate controls, the number of cyber breaches continues to grow, the survey says.
“The increased use of electronic health records, mobile devices, apps and social media offers cyber criminals new places to play,” said Tracey Vispoli, senior vice president and Chubb’s worldwide cyber security liability manager. “As cyber breaches expose more employees and consumers to identity theft, companies are wrestling with higher costs to contain and repair the financial and reputational damage.”
A company’s board of directors needs to understand the risk associated with the theft of employee and customer information, Vispoli advised.
“This is more than just an IT issue,” Vispoli says. “Although companies can help mitigate the risk by following best practices, they also need to have contingency plans in place before a data breach occurs.”
Chubb’s survey of 1,000 Americans was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation, an independent public opinion and market research firm, in April 2011.