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Does Your Restaurant Insurance Include Employment Practices Liability Insurance And Do You Really Need It?

October 16, 2021

You run a small bagel, sandwich, and coffee shop. You employ a baker, some serving staff, maybe a kitchen help. That’s it, nothing grand. You have general liability restaurant insurance and you think that’s enough. But, chances are, it’s not. Most general liability insurance policies specifically exclude employment practices liability coverage and, as an employer of even a small staff, you do need that protection.

What does employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) cover? Simply put, EPLI provides employers and employees with coverage when a claim is made against them that relates to any wrongful employment practice. Such claims can include discrimination of any and all kinds—race, gender, age, sexual orientation, faith, ethnicity— as well as harassment, wrongful dismissal, reprisal/retaliation, a failure to hire, personal injury, and more.

In comparison to some elements of restaurant insurance, employment practices liability coverage can be seen as expensive and often restaurant and bar owners choose to go without. But a lawsuit arising from a claim of wrongful employment practice can be a financial disaster for a small business—indeed for any business if no insurance is in place. Generally, EPLI coverage will include legal costs and damages should any arise.

As with all insurance policies there are many levels of EPLI coverage and as many levels of cost. Sometimes, when adding it to your overall restaurant insurance, you can get your EPLI coverage tailor-made for your business. For example, if you never hire leased or seasonal employees you may not have to pay for that coverage; if you serve alcohol, you need to ensure that there are no exclusions written into your policy. A comprehensive employment practices liability insurance policy will offer you protection against claims made not only by current employees, but also former employees and even potential employees—including managers, directors, seasonal, part-time, and leased workers.

Some restaurateurs will consider themselves immune to employment practices liability on the basis that they run a great business with a loyal staff, offer great training and benefits, and have a long history of exemplary employment practice. But it takes just one disgruntled employee to bring hard-earned success crashing down through a claim of harassment against another employee; or a claim that they have been passed over because of their age, gender, lack of beauty; or a claim that they were dismissed unfairly after making a complaint to management or against another employee.

No matter how tight and how friendly a ship you run, don’t assume that you are immune or that your current general liability restaurant insurance has you covered. Reach out to your broker today and protect yourself, your business, and your staff.

Find out more about employment practices liability coverage in New Jersey and what it means for your restaurant insurance. Contact Vozza Agency for restaurant insurance coverage in New Jersey.

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