In the latest Weekly Wright Report:
- Minimizing Workplace Theft – read now
- Business Insurance: Do I need D&O? E&O? F&O? (Hint: there is no F&O) – read now
Minimizing Workplace Theft
by Laura L. Rubenstein
Experts offer the following suggestions for preventing workplace theft:
(1) Talk to Employees About Your Workplace Policies.
Staff meetings provide the perfect forum to remind employees about workplace policies. Use this opportunity to discuss how stealing violates company policy and could lead to termination.
(2) Stress that Stealing Small Items from the Company Is Wrong.
Experts suggest appealing to workers’ self-image to encourage them to model positive employment behaviors. Everyone wants to have a good reputation among peers and theft can easily tarnish one’s reputation. Small acts of dishonesty/theft can include, for example, using the company’s postage machine to postmark personal packages.
(3) Instruct and Encourage Employees to Report Theft.
Remind employees that everyone is responsible to ensure compliance and you need their help to report any allegations of theft. Assure employees how and to whom they can report theft, either through a supervisor, Human Resources, or an anonymous channel.
If you already have or plan to install security cameras, beware that there are laws that govern what and where you can record. Always consult with legal counsel first.
Business Insurance: Do I need D&O? E&O? F&O? (Hint: there is no F&O)
by Jason Potter
Business insurance is confusing. There are a myriad of products available to cover different types of risks, and the policies themselves are complex and often lead to uncertainly as to whether a particular type of risk is insured. Two main types of insurance policies, Director and Officer policies and Errors and Omissions policies, apply to claims for negligence or improper behavior that results in a loss. However, D&O and E&O products are not interchangeable, and it is therefore important to understand what each covers and what each excludes.
D&O policies provide coverage to directors and officers who are personally sued for acts performed while managing the company. Examples of such claims include misuse of company funds, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, theft of intellectual property, and lack of adequate corporate governance. However, as the policy name implies, the loss must be the result of actions or inactions by the company’s directors or officers. Like most business insurance, it commonly contains a number of coverage exclusions, including losses from fraudulent or criminal conduct, losses from conduct that arose prior to the policy period, and losses from bodily injuries. D&O policies may be issued to for profit businesses, privately held firms, non profit organizations, and educational institutions.
E&O policies also provide coverage for claims of negligence or malpractice, but the coverage extends to all employees, not just directors and officers. An E&O policy is primarily concerned with the product or service the company offers, while a D&O policy is focused on the decisions made by upper management. For example, a realtor’s failure to have a home inspection prior to closing would likely fall within an E&O policy. A defamation lawsuit against the president of the realty company would likely fall within a D&O policy. Like most insurance products, both D&O and E&O policies commonly have a number of exclusions, so business owners should carefully consult their policies. For questions, business owners should contact their attorney or insurance professional for further guidance.
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