The Chubb Group of Insurance Companies is rolling out a comprehensive loss prevention program that will help more than 100,000 customers protect themselves against employment-related lawsuits. The program offers policies and practices, training vehicles, analytical tools, and access to an array of employment practices experts. It is designed to help give companies the tools they need to reduce the likelihood of a lawsuit occurring, as well as to help strengthen their defense if an employment-related lawsuit is brought.
“Employment issues make up 30 percent of all civil litigation in the United States today,” said Michael J. Maloney, vice president and worldwide Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) underwriting manager for Chubb. The number of discrimination cases filed in federal courts tripled between 1990 and 1998. Charges filed through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) resulted in a record $245 million in benefits paid to claimants in 2000.
“The question today is not whether you will be sued, but when,” Maloney said. “Therefore, we want to help our clients reduce the likelihood of complaints occurring, and assist them in mounting a strong defense when a lawsuit does hit.”
The program is tailored to meet the unique needs of Chubb’s diverse customer base, including publicly traded corporations, privately held companies, non-profit organizations, health care clients, temporary staffing firms, as well as mortgage brokers, banks and other financial institutions. Program components include a dedicated Web site, an employment practices loss prevention manual, a proprietary newsletter, loss prevention consultant services, and a toll-free hot line providing callers with immediate answers to most employment-related questions.
The website is provided by the Agos Group, an online network of human resource and employment law experts. Site content includes summaries of federal employment laws, model employment policies and practices, human resources self-assessments as well as on-line training for employees and supervisors.
Hardcopy tools include an Employment Practices Loss Prevention Guidelines manual written by a premier national employment law firm, and CheckPoint, a periodic newsletter published by Chubb, containing articles on employment issues written from the client perspective.
Also available are Chubb’s expert loss prevention consultant services provided by a network of employment law firms, human resources consultants, and labor economist/statistical firms. The program’s hot line provides immediate access to employment-law experts at a nationally known law firm.
“Increasingly, employees are looking to government and the courts to solve their employment problems. In order to ward off potentially devastating lawsuits, an employer must have effective employment policies and practices in place and apply them consistently. The bottom line is employers must take steps to prevent employment allegations or, as a last resort, to provide themselves with a strong defense should those allegations arise,” Maloney said.
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