How does EPLI coverage protect a restaurant in Oklahoma?

How does Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) protect a restaurant in Oklahoma? What would you guess is the biggest insurance risk for a restaurant?
  • Food Contamination? No.
  • Guest “slip and falls? No.
  • Grease fires? No.
What if I told you it was Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)?

Restaurant EPLI coverage is more important than ever.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports that it fields nearly 90,000 Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) claims each year, with an average cost of $450,000 per case.

Employment issues now make up 30% of all civil litigation in the U.S.—and employers are more likely to have an employment claim than a property or general liability claim.

Having a professional insurance advisor to help you with your insurance plan can be just as important as having a CPA you can trust with your tax plan. These professionals should be part of your team!

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You’re an expert at what you do, right?

But, would you pull your own tooth? Of course not. You would have an expert do it for you.

That’s basically what you’re doing when you don’t get the advice of other professionals to help you protect and grow your business.

Picture a typical afternoon before the dinner rush. As the owner or the restaurant manager, you’re going through your list, getting everything ready.

You check with the cooks to make sure everything is moving along. You see the other staff members are getting the dining area ready to go. You’ve confirmed all of your servers and greeters will be in today.

Some of your staff are restaurant veterans, others are working part-time as a second job, and some are students working through school.

Usually, everyone gets along, they’re upbeat and helpful to one another. That feeling of comradery helps them keep each other motivated through another long shift.

As the team meets in the break room for a final meeting before “the rush”, Employee A hugs Employees B and C. This may be typical for your staff since they treat each other like family.

But today, Employee C leaves the restaurant angry and files a sexual harassment claim against Employee A,  the general manager, along with the owner, for allowing this to happen.

Sexual harassment is just one of many common issues that arise in the restaurant workplace—and it’s also one of multiple risks covered by an employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) policy.

In addition to this example of a third-party sexual harassment situation, EPLI policies cover an array of situations, including:

  • Discrimination in hiring practices
  • Wrongful termination
  • Employment-related emotional distress and invasion of privacy
  • Defamation of character
  • Retaliatory/constructive discharge


According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 67% of all employment cases that litigate result in judgment for the plaintiff, and 41% of all EPLI claims arise against small employers—those with 15 to 100 employees.

There’s no question that EPLI claims can have a serious financial impact on small to midsize companies, including restaurants. Many small businesses are great work environments full of vibrant, motivated people, but sometimes the tides can take a turn for the worse.

Employee lawsuits are a lot more than an inconvenience. They’re expensive and distracting. (Like you need something else to worry about!)

How will you pay for legal defense in an employee lawsuit?

EPLI coverage generally includes the cost to defend against the charges, plus any damages you are ordered to pay. However, not all insurance policies are built the same. So, don’t forget my previous point about professional insurance advice.

EPLI is still considered a somewhat new insurance coverage, and many carriers offer their own policy forms, coverage, and exclusions.

Every employer, regardless of the type of business, large or small, is a target for legal action from past, current, or prospective employees. Resolving one of these complaints can often take more than a year, resulting in expensive administrative, legal, and compensatory costs to an employer.

We at the Allen Drew Insurance Agency would be happy to visit with you about your insurance plan. Not only do we love eating at great restaurants here in Edmond, but we also love helping the business owners have peace of mind about the insurance plan!

Let’s start a conversation about your insurance plan.

I’m a business owner too. Time is in short supply and you don’t have time to be pressured into buying anything. We can visit first and see if we would be a good fit for each other. Then we can begin the process of working on your insurance plan.

Call my office: 405-340-0606

Or, complete this short form and I’ll reach out to you. I am looking forward to it!

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Are you ready to save time, aggravation, and money? The team at Allen Drew Insurance Agency is here and ready to make the process as painless as possible. We look forward to meeting you!

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