Social Media – Your Posts and Your Risks
Who has not dabled in one of the social media networks, whether LinkedIn or Facebook or YouTube or Twitter, etc. This is such a great way to connect with old friend, new friends and co-worker's but poses a danger for employers.
If you allow your employees to post things on these sites, your possible risks have just increased 1,000%. Things like sexual harassment, wrongful termination, retaliation and gender discrimination are all the types of things that could be going on in social media. And your general liability business insurance policy does not cover these risks, unless you have an EPLI (Employers Practices Liability Insurance) rider.
Since many insurance companies do not offer EPLI as a rider, this is often a separate policy written to cover the risks mentioned above. For example, an oil change franchisee agreed to pay $ 299,000 in a sexual harassment lawsuit. The lawsuit claimed the supervisor and workers created a hostile work environment by making sexually explicit remarks to female employees.
At a mortgage company, 9 employees filed a lawsuit claiming gender discrimination, race discrimination and retaliation. The claimants said that through the course of their employment, managers continuously harassed them by calling the derogatory names and subjecting them to a hostile workplace. The mortgage company was hit with a $ 3,000,000 lawsuit, no word on the settlement though.
EPLI is something all companies should consider, whether you allow employees on social media networks or not. One bad manager, one bad dirty joke, one bad employee is all it would take to subject you to a lawsuit. General Liability policies or business owner's policies do not insure against these risks, they are part of the exclusions.
Make sure your business is assessed against all risks it may face in the new world of today – especially with regard to social media.