National Small Business Week, which runs May 1-6, highlights the importance of small employers to the nation’s economy and community life — and the challenges that small business owners face.
Many of these complaints involve charges of retaliation, with employees claiming they were punished for alleging discrimination or for participating in a discrimination proceeding against their employer.
In its latest report for 2015, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said it received 39,757 retaliation claims and recovered $178.3 million in monetary benefits from employers. Many smaller businesses paid penalties and settlements.
Hartford Steam Boiler’s insurance data shows employment claim settlements range between $27,000 and $54,000. The amount paid for a legal defense averages $10,000, a significant amount for a small business owner who typically takes home approximately $60,000 in annual salary.
It’s important for small business owners to take steps to help prevent an employment claim:
- Train managers and employees to understand and follow employment laws;
- Follow changes and updates in laws and employment regulations;
- Cover the business with employment practices liability insurance.