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Restaurant Wait StaffLike any business, your restaurant comes with its fair share of risks. These risks affect everyone in your restaurant, including your staff.

Your staff is critical to operations, and they are the first line of service to customers. Therefore, it is imperative that you create a good working environment for them. Restaurant staff have the right to a safe, fair workplace. It is your responsibility to uphold that right.

That said, staff might occasionally claim that the business' practices violated their employee rights. Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) can help you get coverage to fight employment rights claims.

Why Restaurants Need EPLI Insurance

Every employee has rights guaranteed to them by a myriad of state and federal laws. These laws are designed to protect an employee's right to feel safe and secure in their work environment. They also help employees receive fair treatment in hiring, retention and payment.

Occasionally, mistakes lead an employee to claim that an employer violated employment law. Employment rights violations might include things like:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Discrimination based on gender, race or other factors
  • Denial of pay, benefits or services
  • Retaliation
  • Wrongful termination
Should an employee allege the restaurant committed an employment law violation, he or she might sue the business. EPLI insurance can help you fight back against the claim. You might also be able to use the insurance to reform your practices to ensure that such events don't happen again.

How to Avoid EPLI Claims

Employment rights violations can easily deplete your restaurant's finances and damage its reputation. Therefore, you should take steps to make sure they don't happen in the first place.

  • Follow all labor laws specific to restaurant employees. Multiple laws require you to follow certain procedures when hiring, training, compensating and retaining employees. Do not make changes to employment practices without consulting your local laws.
  • Maintain a transparent employment records system. When hiring or terminating employees, follow the letter of the law.
  • Ensure that you encourage a professional, but inviting workplace. Make sure your employees have access to a safe space to report any concerns they have with the business. Encouraging communication among employees can sometimes help prevent problems from developing.
  • Only hire a trustworthy and experienced staff. Properly train employees and management to respect diversity and the rights of others. If you have any reason to suspect dishonesty by employees, follow proper disciplinary processes.
You should also post notices of employee rights in your establishment. This helps ensure that employees know their rights during their time of employment.

Southwest Commercial Insurance can help you get coverage to protect against employment liabilities. Call us at (512) 771-6091 for a free restaurant insurance quote.
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