Will you be protected if you are sued by one of your domestic staff?
Affluent individuals often operate their home as a small business because of their unique exposures. You may have a full-time property caretaker, personal assistant, housekeeper, gardener, nanny, chauffeur, private chef, caregiver or bodyguard. You shouldn’t let your guard down even if your domestic staff feel like an extension of the family. You are just as at risk of an employment-related lawsuit as any other employer. Unlike corporate employees, domestic staff has access to intimate information about you and your family which could be used against you. Even if you handle all employee interactions appropriately, you can still be liable if one employee behaves inappropriately with another.
Regardless of the outcome, the cost to defend against an employment-related lawsuit is high. Not only do you need to worry about financial costs associated with defending a lawsuit and potentially paying a settlement, but it will take time away from your work and family, compounding an already stressful situation. If handled improperly, the claim could also cause irreparable harm to your reputation.
How you are at risk
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), during their fiscal year ending September 30, 2014, nearly 43% of the approximately 89,000 workplace discrimination charges they received included retaliation claims. The next top discrimination claims filed were for racial discrimination, sexual discrimination (including harassment) and disability discrimination.1
Consider these scenarios. Could they happen to you?
How Nationwide Private Client responds
Nationwide Private Client offers our optional limited employment practices liability (EPLI) coverage,2 with limits of $250,000 or $500,000 that can be added to your personal excess liability policy. The optional coverage will pay damages that the policyholder is legally obligated to pay to a residence employee arising out of a wrongful employment act, wrongful termination or discrimination. Coverage includes defense outside the limit.
Our personal excess liability policy includes employment event fund coverage up to $25,0003 for the reasonable expenses incurred by engaging an employment event management firm to minimize potential loss as a result of an employment event. If applicable, we can help you secure an event management firm of your choice, which could include a professional public relations consulting firm, security consulting firm, media management firm, investigative firm or a law firm. Services could include getting help to mitigate reputational damage by comments a disgruntled employee said to the media, legal advice as soon as they suspect the employee will be filing a claim or an investigation to help prove that an employee’s damaging claims were false.
If you believe you are implicated in a covered employment liability situation, you should report the claim to your agent and Nationwide Private Client by calling our toll-free number at 855-473-6410.
Why it’s important for you
Personal umbrella and homeowners coverage don’t provide proper protection for employment liability claims as these policies only apply to claims alleging bodily injury or property damage claims. If you have domestic employees, talk to your agent about adding limited employment practices liability coverage.
Nationwide Private Client offers these added benefits:
Why Nationwide Private Client
Nationwide Private Client is dedicated to helping protect the assets and reputations of our clients. Our highly personalized insurance products, services and concierge style claim management are thoughtfully designed to meet the distinctive needs of affluent individuals and families. We are committed to providing you a superior experience whenever you need assistance.
Nationwide, a Fortune 1005 company, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A1 by Moody’s and A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s.6