Workplace harassment is evolving. It’s become more discreet, hiding behind far-flung computer screens and communications platforms. At the same time, though, it’s also become more open and identifiable with workplace harassment claims data more available than ever.
As trends like the Great Resignation have shown, workers are finding themselves in a friendly job market where employees have the upper hand, allowing them space to leave jobs, and potentially file claims that they weren’t previously comfortable submitting. It’s a job seeker’s market. Should workplace harassment claims continue to increase, what does this mean for businesses? Organizations need to be proactive about addressing workplace harassment, rather than reactive. They need to have policies and procedures in place that are designed to discourage and prevent harassment from happening in the first place. Further, they need to make sure that those policies and procedures are readily available and communicated to all employees, so that workplace harassment claims are appropriately addressed and resolved.
Workplace harassment claims can have a significant impact on businesses and their day to day operations, so organizations need to be proactive in addressing them. By having policies and procedures in place to prevent workplace harassment from occurring, communicating those policies and procedures to all employees, and having protocols for dealing with workplace harassment complaints, organizations can help to ensure that workplace harassment claims are appropriately addressed and resolved, thus avoiding claims
Will Trends in Workplace Harassment Claims Continue or Shift in 2023?
In 2019, insurance data indicates that 19% of EPLI claims were for workplace harassment. The number of claims spiked 115% in just one year, from 2019 to 2020. 2020 later saw a decline in workplace harassment claims, perhaps due in part to organizations switching to remote work. 2021 then showed a 29% increase in workplace harassment, as well as discrimination, claims. As 2021 saw employees returning to the office, the increase may be attributed to more in-person work, and therefore more workplace harassment claims. 2022 has a mix of in-person and remote work, and we expect to see interesting trends in workplace harassment claims because of it.
Implications of Workplace Harassment Data
What do these workplace harassment claims tell us? First, that harassment in the workplace is still a major issue. Second, these claims are on the rise. And third, the way we work may be impacting the rate of claims. We’ll be watching closely to see how these trends play out in the coming years. For those looking to improve the workplace culture and prevent workplace harassment claims from happening in the first place, there is a number of ways you can do so. Recognizing gender discrimination and other types of discrimination is one way to understand the problem more. SHRM also suggests keeping a harassment form on hand for addressing claims.
One thing that workplace harassment claims undoubtedly show is the need for employment practices liability. This type of coverage protects your business, whether you are a small law firm or large corporation, from workplace harassment claims, along with other types of employment-related claims. If you don’t have a policy in place, now might be the time to consider it. Employment liability claims can be costly, and they’re only getting more common. Contact us today. We can help you find the coverage you need to protect your business from these costly claims.
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