Lawsuits against Florida physicians, surgeons, dentists and oral surgeons by their employees are on the rise. Statistically, employment-related claims are more frequent with healthcare providers than with any other type of risk. With a sagging economy and high unemployment due to consolidation in the healthcare industry, employees are suing employers as never before. The moment a healthcare provider begins to interview an employee, he or she is at risk.
Nature of Lawsuits:
Employees are suing Florida doctors and dentists for such breaches as:
- Wrongful termination
- Breach of employment contract
- Sexual harassment
- Wrongful hiring
- Wrongful disciplinary action
- Failure to promote
- Violations of Family Medical Leave Act
Examples of Employment-Related Claims
Consider the following possibilities:
A claim could be made by a patient alleging that the patient was sexually harassed by the physician, surgeon or dentist while under anesthesia.
An EPLI claim could arise from a patient alleging that he was refused treatment because he was HIV positive.
A claim could be made against a physician, surgeon, oral surgeon or dentist that she was terminated because she was pregnant.
An EPLI claim could be brought by a vendor claiming that she was excluded because she was overweight.
A claim could be brought by an employee that his employment contract was breached when he or she was not given a raise.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance
Gracey-Backer, Inc. strongly recommends that Florida healthcare providers purchase Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) to protect the practice from lawsuits by employees, independent contractors, patients or vendors for the above-mentioned accusations and others. The Employment Practices Liability Insurance policy will also assist the physician or dental practice in setting up policies and procedures designed to prevent an employment-related claim. If one occurs, the doctor or dentist has somewhere to turn—almost like having a skilled labor attorney on retainer.
EPLI premiums are extremely reasonable, even when third-party discrimination is included. A small physician, surgeon or dental office in Florida can expect to pay under $2,000 for $1,000,000 coverage.
Remember that just one single employment-related lawsuit can wreck a doctor or dentist’s practice. Every Florida physician and dental office should carry appropriate Employment Practices Liability Insurance coverage. Even if the practice has not experienced an employment-related claim in the past does not mean that one will not happen in the future. If an employee or third party makes an accusation, you must still pay to defend yourself, even if you are innocent!
For more information and for a no-obligation quote, kindly call the experts at Gracey-Backer, Inc. Please remember that quotes are free and we are here to assist you, the Florida physician, surgeon, oral surgeon and dentist in protecting your practice through quality insurance products.
John Gracey Backer, CPA
John Gracey Backer, CPA, is the Treasurer of Gracey-Backer, Inc., an Insurance Agency in Delray Beach, Florida specializing in All Lines of Malpractice, Professional and Personal Insurance for the Healthcare Provider. He can be contacted at 800-272-6055 ext 128, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.