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Ullico Bulletin

JATC Leaders and Instructors Affected by DOL Rules

By Laverne J. Wingfield, AVP, Claims

The Department of Labor (DOL) made regulations this year that affect JATCs. In short, apprentice programs are more at risk than ever before as claims may arise more frequently if the DOL or individual apprentices feel a JATC is not being inclusive in its program. Training directors need to make sure they have an insurance policy that extends to negligence arising out of such allegations.

Remember that Equal Employment Opportunity regulations prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, and sex. The updated rules also prohibit discrimination based on disability, age, sexual orientation, and genetic information. The first step is to familiarize yourself with the new rules and the timeline for their implementation:

The Benefits of a D&O Policy

Because JATCs are schools, training committees and leaders have to worry about personal injury and discrimination claims. Directors & Officers insurance policies (D&O) provide coverage to protect against common operational exposures.

A D&O policy protects the JATC and its committees. It also protects individual insureds, which includes past, present and future directors, trustees, officers, employees, board members and committee members. The policy can be extended to individuals designated by and serving the entity, such as contracted employees.

D&O policies typically cover errors or omissions, or breaches of duty, committed or alleged to have been committed by the entity or any insured person in the discharge of his or her duties. The scope of coverage includes employment practices, such as third-party discrimination, and personal injury coverage.

Charges brought by DOL, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, NLRB and similar bodies can be considered claims. An important endorsement on this policy is educator's liability, which covers the risk that JATCs face when their graduates use the education they acquired in the workforce.

Common claims many carriers see are discrimination claims brought by students, including potential candidates who are denied acceptance into the program.

Claims Examples

To give you an idea of the claims that might arise, here are some hypothetical examples:

  • A JATC does not accept a female applicant into its program, and she files a lawsuit claiming that her gender is the reason for the declination.

  • Graduates of a JATC make mistakes during a construction job, which delays the project. The general contractor experiences the loss of subsequent business opportunities from the project developer. As a result, the contractor files a lawsuit against the JATC, alleging that it failed to properly educate its graduates.

  • The administrative assistant at a JATC receives news alert emails and forwards them to all the JATC's instructors every morning, not realizing that sharing the alerts is in violation of the subscription agreement. The news source fines the JATC for each time she forwarded the email, which triggers a copyright infringement claim.

These types of claims are typically not covered under a fiduciary policy as the provisions of that policy do not extend to harassment, discrimination, failure to educate, or personal injury.

Learn More

Suits against JATCs, including discrimination, selection of students, wrongful dismissal and educator's liability, can create a crippling financial burden for JATCs simply trying to prepare and train apprentices and journeymen to perform quality work.

Do not take a chance. Find out more at: www.ullico.com/casualty.

Justin Patten

Laverne Wingfield
AVP, Claims
Ullico Casualty Group LLC.

Laverne Wingfield is a seasoned insurance claims professional with more than two decades of experience managing and adjusting a wide range of exposures. Since joining Ullico in 2004, Ms. Wingfield has worked on all aspects of claims adjudication and risk management for both the Fiduciary and Union Liability lines.

Ms. Wingfield is a member of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society and holds Adjuster licenses in more than 30 states. She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelor of Arts in Hearing and Speech Sciences and earned a Master of Arts in Legal and Ethical Studies from the University of Baltimore.

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