By Dominic Vari, Director of Claims, Ullico Casualty Group
Union leaders and benefit fund trustees have many regulatory bodies governing them, including the U.S. Department of Labor, National Labor Relations Board, Internal Revenue Service, the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Notices and charges related to investigations and penalties from these regulatory bodies or their state equivalents can result in expenses that may be covered under a professional liability policy. However, delayed reporting could result in a denial of a claim.
In order to help policyholders utilize their union liability insurance policies to the fullest extent, here are some helpful tips.
According to the union liability policy from Alterra America Insurance Company, a Markel company, claim means:
Claim does not mean or include the grievance and arbitration process under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement or any internal union or affiliated union proceeding of any nature.
Policyholders should report any claim in a timely manner. The union liability form states that claims must be reported by 90 days or by the end of the policy period, whichever is earlier. If policyholders are not sure if a notice from a regulatory body is a claim, best practice is to consult with their attorneys or insurance representatives. Attorneys or insurance representatives often submit notices of potential claims to assure policyholders of coverage in case a covered claim evolves over time.
Any claim should be reported to Ullico Casualty Group by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy of the charge or notice of investigation attached in PDF format.
A union organizer of 20 years alleges that she was wrongfully terminated and replaced by a candidate with less professional experience. The former organizer files an EEOC charge alleging racial discrimination.
In this case, a governmental agency charges a local union, which has a union liability policy. This EEOC charge is an example of the employment practices liability coverage built into the policy.
An employer filed an NLRB complaint against a union alleging failure to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement in good faith. The union is the collective bargaining agent for people employed by the employer.
In this case, the employer has brought charges through a federal agency that the union will have to defend itself against. The union liability policy specifically names proceedings through the NLRB as covered in the definition of claim in the policy, and would provide defense and liability coverage.
A state’s department of labor charges a union district council for failing to pay its administrative assistants overtime as they are nonexempt employees.
This situation would constitute a wage and hour claim under the union liability policy. The policy pays for the district council’s defense against the Department of Labor’s allegations.
Union liability policies provide broad protection for claims specifically relating to the management of unions. For a full description of union liability insurance, please visit www.ullico.com/casualty.
Whether, and to what extent, a particular loss is covered depends on the facts around and circumstances of the loss, as well as the terms and conditions of the policies as issued.