Discrimination Claims can Start at the Interview

discrimination at interview dental practiceAs I mentioned in a previous post, an Employment Practices claim can be made based on your initial hiring practices. Today’s post is all about eliminating discrimination in your dental practice from the application process to making a hiring decision.

Federal and State anti-discrimination laws are broad, including pre-employment job applications and hiring. You may be surprised how quickly a seemingly innocent question can make someone feel that they were discriminated against.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission explains why these new laws were put in place:

“Employment application forms and pre-employment interviews have traditionally been instruments for eliminating, at an early stage, ‘unsuited’ or ‘unqualified’ persons from consideration for employment and often have been used in such a way as to restrict or deny employment opportunities for women and members of minority groups.”

The Idaho Commission on Human Rights is a fantastic resource for this topic.  I will give you a quick overview here, but I highly recommend that you take a look at their site for even more information on how to not only protect yourself, but to avoid potential discrimination claims.


The rule of thumb that the ICHR gives is to ask yourself:

  • Does this question discriminate against a protected group?
  • Is the information provided by this question essential to the job?

During the interview process, it is normal to try to break the ice and get to know the candidate personally. You want to know if they will fit well with your team and if they will represent your practice in the appropriate way. Asking personal questions, though, can lead to a discrimination claim.

You will likely want to know if a candidate will stay with your practice for a reasonable length of time. Instead of trying to figure it out based on their answers to personal questions, such as their future plans for a family, simply ask them how long they intend to stay with you if hired.

One example I found that really struck me was about age discrimination. Here in Boise, it is common to discover that we have mutual friends after learning where they went to high school or college. However, asking someone when they graduated could make the candidate assume that they weren’t hired based on their age.

As you can see, certain questions can make people feel discriminated against even if you are truly interested in them and not trying to eliminate them from being hired based on age or future plans.

For more information, please refer to the Idaho Commission on Human Rights.

Employment Practices Liability Coverage 101

Employment Practices Liability Coverage Idaho Terry R ArpEmployment Practices Liability Coverage is an essential aspect of your Professional Liability Insurance. EPL protects your practice and assets in the litigious world we live in today. The legal rights of your employees have expanded, as well as public awareness. While I'm sure you respect and agree with these rights, there certainly is a heightened risk of your employees bringing suit in an attempt to cover damages.

If you are one of our valued insureds that has Professional Liability coverage with us, you have some Employment Practices Liability coverage.

What does Employment Practices Liability Defense Coverage provide?

Our EPL defense coverage provides a per-claim/annual aggregate limit of $25,000 for defense coverage when an allegation is made by an employee for covered claims including:

  • Wrongful Termination
  • Age Discrimination
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Violations of Civil Rights
  • Discrimination in Hiring
  • And more!

Without EPL insurance, these lawsuits can cost a significant amount of money out of your own pocket. Even if you are not found to be liable, your legal defense can still be very expensive. Not to mention, there is rarely much evidence to back your case other than hearsay.

What if I want more than just defense coverage?

If you want additional coverage to protect you in the event you are found at fault, we offer the optional EPLI endorsement which provides up to $1,000,000 Indemnity coverage (pays for judgments and settlements) plus defense.

Did you know that an EPL claim can be made based on your initial hiring practices?

EPL and EPLI are written on a claims-made policy, which means you can only receive the benefits if the alleged incident occurs while the policy is in force. In light of this fact, we highly recommend that you get your EPL coverage in place before you hire your first employee.

In the following blog posts, we will be walking you through best employment practices from your application process to how to fairly fire an employee.

2015 Risk Management Seminar for Idaho & Utah Dentists


Our annual CNA Risk Management Seminars for Idaho & Utah Dentists are coming up quickly! Your attendance allows you to realize 7.5% credit on your Professional Liability premium for 3 years, plus 4.5 hours of Continuing Education.

Please mark your calendars now to have you and your staff join us at the most comprehensive risk management program available to dental offices! If you haven’t yet received registration information, please don’t hesitate to contact us to reserve your spot!

There are two opportunities to attend:

Friday, May 1, 2015                                                         Friday, October 16, 2015

8:30am – 1:00pm                                                            8:20am – 1:00pm

Boise Centre                                                                   O’Callahan’s Convention Center (Shilo Inn)

850 W. Front St., Boise                                                   780 Lindsay Blvd., Idaho Falls


For more information, please see the brochure below.

We hope to see you there!

Risk Management Seminar for Dentists in Boise

Risk Management Seminar Terry Arp and Associates