Information gleaned from the EEOC, the DOL and the insurance industry can assist in analyzing what types of claims employers are likely to see in the coming years.

The most recent EEOC statistics reveal that in Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee and Mississippi, the top filed charges with the EEOC were (in varying order depending on the state): race, retaliation, disability and sex discrimination [see here].  There is no doubt that the EEOC is aggressively pursuing lawsuits and charges against employers in these areas.  In addition,leave policies, accommodation for disabilities, and the treatment of LGBTQ workers are top priorities for the EEOC.

The DOL is concentrating on the misclassification of independent contractors [see here] and joint employers [see here] and has proposed to increase the salary of exempt workers [see here].

Finally, with regard to the insurance industry, according to the Claims Journal [see here], the top trending (but not necessarily the most frequent) Employment Practices Liability (EPL) claims are:

  • Pregnancy discrimination
  • Illegal Background checks
  • Unpaid interns
  • GINA

In order to prevent lawsuits and to make sure employers are in compliance with the ever changing employment laws, employers should have legal counsel review their handbooks.  Also, supervisors should be trained about employment law issues regularly, so that they can recognize issues when they arise.  With regard to wage and hour violations, it is recommended that employers stay abreast of changes in wage and hour law and hire legal counsel to perform wage and hour audits to ensure that payment practices are in compliance with the law.