Halloween at Work. Make sure you’re covered.

Whether you hate them or love them, you have to agree – Halloween at work can be a scary proposition if you run your own business.  While encouraging your employees to dress in costume or hosting a Halloween party can be morale-boosters, don’t forget that all this merriment also has the potential to backfire on the company. In fact, countless businesses over the last 10 years have faced Employment Practices Liability Insurance claims from employees due to Halloween-related events at work.

So what is Employment Practices Liability Insurance or EPLI and what does it have to do with Halloween?

“EPLI” is a type of liability insurance that covers claims made by employees.  For example, if any employee harasses or discriminates against another employee (or is even alleged to have done so), EPLI will provide a defense and possibly claim payment on behalf of the business. Any business owner knows that is a critical coverage to protect the business owner from meritless claims brought by disgruntled employees. We know business owners aim to be just and non-discriminatory, but o age and gender gaps can lead to miscommunication, and EPLI coverage can serve as a last line of defense against employment claims.

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So as you head into your Halloween at work festivities, keep the following potential risks in mind:

Religion: Some cultures and religions view celebrating Halloween as a form of worship. Some employees might request a day off as “religious accommodation” and, you as a business owner or manager, need to be prepared for that.

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Inappropriate Costumes: Costumes. Costumes. Costumes. In any office there is always an employee who will push the boundaries or completely overstep them when it comes to a “workplace appropriate attire.” If you decide to allow or even encourage costumes at work, be sure to forbid costumes that are intended to replication stereotypical images of people who are members of a protected class (e.g., handicap, elderly) Set a Halloween dress code, which goes beyond the company’s normal workplace dress code.

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Harassment: Some employees see Halloween as an opportunity to pull practical jokes, or send and receive emails with menacing, threatening or explicit content. It’s not a bad idea to remind everyone about your harassment policy and email policy just prior to Halloween.

5 Rules for Avoiding a Cyber Liability Nightmare

Almost two years ago, the country was rocked by the Target data breach. Since then tens of companies and even the federal government have been hacked, making the fear of a data breach ever more pressing for businesses, big and small, public and private.  Luckily, there are at least five things you can do to avoid a cyber liability nightmare.

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Hurricane Joaquin Is Coming: Does your business insurance cover you?

Joaquin has strengthened into a hurricane and while there is still much uncertainty in its path, people along the U.S. East Coast should monitor the National Hurricane Center and local NWS [National Weather Service] forecast offices, as well as local media, for the latest updates and be sure to have a plan in place should Joaquin threaten their area,” theNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) stated, on its website this week.

Seven of the 10 costliest hurricanes in U.S. history, as defined by insurance claim payouts, occurred in either September or October.

Do Dog Walkers need insurance?

Your job may literally be a walk in the park, but like other pet care services, dog walking can be more risky than it appears. For one thing, you’re in charge of someone’s beloved friend or as they see it, their “baby” and that’s a big responsibility. You can’t control everything that happens on the street, in a park, etc., so as a dog walker, you have to be prepared for anything. 

New Technology, Old Laws. You Still Need To Be Insured

Prepare for the best expect the worst. A few words carry that condensed wisdom that you need to take into account, especially when you are running a successful business. Disaster could strike at any moment and force you to shut your doors, fire employees and loos years of your life’s-work. When the going gets tough, it might seem tempting to cut costs by forgoing insurance, whoever maintaining a business insurance policy is always highly recommend by experts.