Tuesday, February 22, 2011

EAPs & Liability Prevention: Someone Please Rebut This...

If you think I am nuts for talking about this, please say so, or I just might continue. Seriously. I think there is a room here for a breakthrough on EAPs getting more attention from stakeholders in the risk management arena. But listen, if you disagree, please tell me to stop kicking this horse and give me a good reason. I might be too close to my own brain to see the opposite argument. So, here it goes.

Although virtually unheard of in the EAP literature (including recent writings on behavioral risk), EAPs may prove their highest value in EPL intervention and loss prevention far exceeding health insurance cost containment. Indeed the average jury award for wrongful termination is over $500,000. Out of court settlements average $100,000. I believe this is a powerful EAP role and one EAPA can use to claim the high ground in the EPL loss prevention frenzy currently being spearheaded by big P-C underwriters.

Here's what I recommend the profession consider:

1. Establish and fund a committee on Employment Practices Liability and Loss Control to study the EAP role in preventing lawsuits related to employment practices. Survey EA professionals and the like. Survey literature to spot unaddressed opportunities and evidence that potentially new constituencies for EAPs are not aware EAPs as a solution to their loss prevention goals.

2. Contact major underwriters to learn of their knowledge current state of knowledge and the deficiencies in that knowledge associated with EAPs.

3. Create a multi-part strategy to educate these underwriters using their economic self-interest to consider effective, core tech-driven, and high-touch EAPs as solutions to problems they face.
3. Seek to establish a national dialogue with P-C insurers and insurance agencies selling EPL products. A labor-management-insurer sponsored joint benchmarking project to demonstrate interface and impact would be ideal.
4. Promote and encourage conferences, papers, and partnering opportunities along with aggressive press coverage for this linkage and by so doing, penetrate the P-C literature base.

5. Encourage the establishment of CT-EAP products offered by property casualty insurance companies as part of their programmatic approach to EPL risk reduction.

Okay, am I crazy?