When news broke out about the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault case, society became aware that sexual misconduct charges are being taken more seriously now than ever. The momentum of the #MeToo movement has empowered victims of sexual assault to let their voices be heard. It is important, however, to note that abuse and its consequences are not exclusive to the world of Hollywood. Sexual misconduct in the workplace is now receiving added scrutiny, making it absolutely essential for businesses to carry Directors & Officers insurance coverage.
Statistics illustrate the scope of the problem. A 2018 Hiscox Workplace Harassment Study revealed that a third of participants felt that they had been harassed in the workplace. Sexual harassment was the most common category of offence, with 41% of female participants claiming to have been harassed at work. Over 75% of their harassers were reportedly male. These figures are indicative of the rampant misconduct that is happening in workplaces across North America. This being the case, the chance of your business being hit with a harassment charge has never been more likely. This means it is important to protect yourself in advance.
If you own a business, it is your responsibility to take all harassment claims seriously. Every company has a duty to protect its employees. Failure to do so can result in serious liability claims that carry substantial costs and disrupt operations. Directors and Officers insurance becomes an important asset. Very often, allegations of workplace harassment and assault end up in the legal system. If a judge finds that your business did not do enough to investigate or properly resolve a harassment claim, the burden of restitution to victims will fall on your shoulders. With Directors & Officers insurance in place, however, your board will be protected against a failure to act. This could save substantial damage to your finances and reputation.
If you own a business, speak to a Broker at Regal about Directors and Officers insurance today. Our team of experts will assess your needs and make sure that you and your staff are protected should misconduct claims arise. It is important to note that insurance is only one way of minimizing the damage caused by workplace harassment. It is important to educate your staff so that they know what constitutes harassment, how to avoid committing it, and what to do after it has occurred.