In 2020, CRICO’s management and members developed an Employment Practices Liability (EPL) program. This covers wrongful acts in the workplace such as discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination. Part of the initiative was to lay groundwork to understand member EPL vulnerabilities, increase overall awareness of these types of harassment and discrimination issues, develop a basic taxonomy to study the results as we do with our medical malpractices liability adverse events.
This spring, CRICO releases its Best Practices for Employment Practices Liability Reporting document. These best practices are a compilation of recommendations from Risk Managers, Human Resources staff, as well as General Counsel. They outline a strategy to facilitate consistent, time-sensitive closed-loop processes when workplace behavior falls beneath expectations.
Early research showed that there was a wide variability in how complaints were reported.
This led to vulnerabilities such as:
- Lack of a centralized process to coordinate complaint management, consistent response, documentation, trend-analysis and follow up
- Inconsistent management of complaints depending on role and employment status
- Inconsistent use of the complaint data
- Fear of retaliation by individuals who report
To build trust and lay out a reliable, repeatable system, the experts agreed that the following processes are important:
- Catalog and clearly communicate all ways in which these complaints may be reported.
- Determine how to respond: i.e., 1) by one response team, 2) different response teams per complaint type
- Build and enforce clear timelines for complaint management.
- Ensure medical staff bylaws include due process for complaint management and follow these processes consistently. Differentiate processes related to behavior vs. performance management.
- Build and enforce closed-loop processes.
The guidelines also call out a series of recommendations for how to respond to complaints as well as how to document them. And while these processes and methods are being built, the guidelines strongly recommend that organizations aggregate and analyze the data for trends, vulnerabilities in the organization. This allows you to develop actions to address these serious risks.
For the full guideline as well as case studies, podcasts, coverage information and FAQs, please visit the CRICO web site’s EPL home page.