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EPLI Coverage: Supreme Court’s 2024 Decision

EPLI Coverage

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How the Supreme Court’s Decision Reshapes EPLI Coverage


As an expert in the insurance industry with a decade of experience, I have seen numerous policy evolutions, but few are as pivotal as those impacting Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI). The recent unanimous Supreme Court decision, which revisits the legal threshold for “significant harm” in discrimination cases, marks a critical shift in the landscape for employers nationwide, potentially reshaping future EPLI claims.

The Supreme Court Decision Key Takeaways

Lowered Burden of Proof

The Court has made it easier for employees to sue for job discrimination when transferred against their will by lowering the threshold of proof needed. Employees now only need to demonstrate that the transfer caused some harm, rather than significant harm.

Unanimous Revival of a Discrimination Suit

The justices unanimously revived the sex discrimination lawsuit of Sgt. Jaytonya Muldrow, who claimed her forced transfer within the St. Louis police department was due to sex discrimination.

Details of the Case

Sgt. Muldrow was transferred from a plainclothes intelligence position to a uniformed patrol officer role after a new commander preferred a male officer for her previous position. This transfer came with no demotion or pay cut but involved changes in job prestige and responsibilities.

Legal Standards Clarified

Justice Elena Kagan clarified that under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, proving a transfer is discriminatory does not require showing significant disadvantage but merely some form of harm.

Impact on Future Cases

This decision is expected to affect future discrimination cases by making it easier for employees to challenge discriminatory practices in their reassignments.

Separate Opinions Noted

Although the decision was unanimous, Justices Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, and Clarence Thomas expressed some disagreements with the majority’s reasoning.

Implications for Employers

The ruling emphasizes that employers cannot base job assignments on discriminatory factors like race or gender, indicating a stricter scrutiny on the motives behind job reassignments.

Case Remanded

The case will return to lower courts where Sgt. Muldrow will continue to pursue her claims, which include the loss of a prestigious role and additional benefits such as a take-home city car.

EPLI Coverage Costs

The cost of Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) varies based on several factors including the size of the business, number of employees, industry risk, claims history, and policy details such as coverage limits and deductibles. On average, small businesses might expect to pay about $222 per month for EPLI coverage, which equates to approximately $2,655 annually. However, some businesses pay less, particularly those with fewer employees or lower risk profiles. For example, businesses can pay premiums as low as $1,824 per year for smaller coverage limits and a higher deductible​ (Fit Small Business)​​ (ALLCHOICE Insurance)​​ (TechInsurance)​.

The factors that influence the cost of EPLI include the nature of the business (high-risk vs. low-risk industries), the company’s claims history (with prior claims typically leading to higher premiums), and the presence of risk management practices such as employee training and well-documented HR policies. Deductibles also play a role; choosing a higher deductible can reduce the monthly premium cost but increases out-of-pocket expenses in the event of a claim​​.

It’s important for businesses to balance their coverage needs with their budget constraints to choose the right EPLI policy that provides adequate protection while managing costs effectively.

Legal Threshold for “Significant Harm”

In discrimination lawsuits, the concept of “significant harm” plays a crucial role in determining the viability of a claim. The Supreme Court’s clarification in this area impacts how claims under EPLI policies will be assessed, emphasizing the nuances of race, gender, and age discrimination.

Implications for Employers Nationwide

This decision has broad implications for human resource policies. Employers must now consider how these legal changes affect their EPLI coverage, particularly in terms of claims-made vs. occurrence policy forms.

Analysis of the Decision

While the decision was unanimous, the justices expressed varying opinions on its scope. These subtleties may guide future interpretations of Title VII protections, suggesting an increased vigilance for employers in their EPLI strategies.

Societal Impacts and EPLI Specific Discussion

The societal shift toward greater workplace equality can be seen as part of the broader cultural movement that this Supreme Court decision supports. For EPLI, this means more than just coverage—it’s about fostering an environment that minimizes risks associated with discrimination claims.


The recent Supreme Court decision not only impacts legal practices but also reinforces the necessity of robust EPLI coverage for modern enterprises. Our commitment at Hotaling Insurance Services is to guide our clients through these changes, ensuring that they are both compliant and secure.


What does EPLI mean?

Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) protects companies from the financial fallout of claims that are employment-related, such as discrimination or wrongful termination.

Who is an insured on an EPLI policy?

Typically, an EPLI policy covers the company, its directors, officers, and employees as insured parties.

Is EPLI insurance worth it?

Considering the increasing number of employment-related claims, EPLI is a crucial safeguard for businesses, providing financial protection and peace of mind.

What is the difference between EPLI and General Liability (GL)?

Unlike GL, which covers bodily injury, property damage, and advertising injuries, EPLI specifically covers wrongful acts arising from the employment process, such as discrimination or sexual harassment.


Joseph Ragusa Hotaling Poughkeepsie

Assistant Vice President of Commercial Lines/Cyber Risk

Contact Joseph Ragusa for more info here


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