In 2020, CRICO collected input from management and subscribers to develop an Employment Practices Liability (EPL) program. This program covers wrongful acts in the workplace such as discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination. Part of the initiative was to lay groundwork to understand subscribers’ EPL vulnerabilities, increase awareness of these types of harassment and discrimination issues, and develop a taxonomy to analyze claim outcomes similar to our medical professional liability (MPL) program.

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One component of the EPL program is to develop best practices with representatives from Risk Management, Human Resources, and General Counsel. The group identified varied reporting processes across CRICO subscriber organizations, and they released the Best Practices for Employment Practices Liability Reporting as the first in the series of best practices.

This resource outlines a strategy to facilitate consistent, time-sensitive, and closed-loop compliant reporting processes when workplace behavior falls below expectations.

Findings

Inconsistent reporting processes 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

Suggested Practice

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 and vulnerabilities in the organization. This allows institutions to develop evidence-based actions to address these serious risks.

For more EPL resources, such as case studies, podcasts, coverage information and FAQs, please visit our EPL Home page



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