An online insurance industry newsletter published by PropertyCasualty360.com (link here) reports that some employers are requesting that insurance companies include workplace bullying in their employment practice liability insurance (EPLI) policies.
According to writer Susanne Sclafane, driving this trend is growing employer recognition that enactment of workplace bullying legislation (i.e., the Healthy Workplace Bill) is a real possibility.
Chartis responds to bullying legislation
For example, according to Sclafane, Joni Mason, senior vice president for the Chartis Insurance stated that:
…Chartis expanded its Employment Edge EPLI policy to include workplace bullying because insureds were asking about it. With states continuing to introduce legislation, “it’s a concern for our clients,” she says. “If states start passing any of the proposals, or if a federal law gets passed, you are going to see a flood of claims. It’s going to be a huge concern both for employers and carriers, and we will have to address that separately.”
Let’s talk about people…and their health & dignity
EPLI policies have become a fact of life in corporate America, and I certainly understand why an insurance industry newsletter would be discussing the potential impact of workplace bullying legislation.
In fact, it’s a sign of the growing strength of the movement to enact the Healthy Workplace Bill that employers and their insurance companies are anticipating its passage.
However, let’s not forget the core crisis fueling the movement itself: The frequency and severity of bullying in the workplace. We’re talking about worker health and dignity here, priorities that too many employers have ignored for way too long.