You cannot do the job without your team as a dairy farmer. Adhering to employment best practices and ensuring your insurance coverages cover current risks are critical to maintaining a successful and viable operation.
Daniel Golightly, who serves dairy farmers in PayneWest Insurance’s Agribusiness, said: “We find that most dairy companies are underinsured at the moment. “Rising inflation and the growing scale of employee lawsuits and even incidents of workplace violence are leaving many dairy companies extremely vulnerable. We are always asked, don’t my general liability and workers’ compensation policies adequately protect me? The answer is no.”
While you may have general liability and workers’ compensation insurance, there are some areas that are exclusive to dairy plants and other agricultural operations due to high levels of exposure. And when both owners and employees work and live on a farm property, the risk of employee-related problems increases dramatically.
Here are two often overlooked exposures that dairy owners should consider:
Employee discrimination charges and lawsuits
Considering the increased litigation against U.S. dairy operations and employers across all industries, dairy owners are at high risk of employment-related lawsuits.
According to workplace discrimination statistics, three out of five US employees say that at some point they have experienced or witnessed discrimination based on age, race, religion or gender.
Over the past 20 years, employee lawsuits have increased by 400%. In fiscal year 2021, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported 61,331 workplace discrimination allegations filed with the agency, with a payout of $485 million.
Employment practices liability insurance can help protect your farm from employment-related lawsuits, such as discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, harassment, non-promotion and offensive work environment. Some policies may also include risk management measures including personnel policy templates, training programs for owners and employees, and legal advice.
Unfortunately, violence in the workplace has become a constant problem. Mental illness, substance abuse, and other factors can contribute to incidents of hostility and violence. Most states exclude workers’ compensation injuries arising from drug and alcohol use or intentionally causing injury or harm to workers, leaving employers highly vulnerable. if not properly insured.
According to the National Crime Victims Survey, 1.5 million assaults occur in the workplace every year. Statistics on workplace violence also show that 251 serious injuries occurred as a result of violence.
A 2022 analysis by career information provider Zippia estimates that US businesses lose an average of $250-$330 billion annually to incidents of violence. Expenses incurred from lost work time and wages, reduced productivity and revenue, higher health care costs, accident insurance and workers’ compensation premiums, as well as legal costs management and security.
Workplace violence and active shooting insurance can cover items, such as legal costs from lawsuits arising from a covered event, business interruption expenses, Survivors’ death benefits and costs for consultants, security and public relations specialists. Policies can also provide resources to prevent and address violence in the workplace.
With many dairy workers working and living on the farm, a rigorous insurance plan that includes employer protections is best suited for today’s cultural and industry risks. now.