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Commercial Risk Advisor – April 2018 - April 2018

3 Questions to Ask When Addressing Sexual Harassment at Your Business

It’s always been important to protect your business and employees from sexual harassment, but recent high-profile cases show the importance of re-examining this topic at your business. Social movements such as the “Me Too” campaign have drawn attention to sexual harassment in the workplace, resulting in a growing number of misconduct allegations. These allegations can result in a wide variety of claims and lead to serious financial and reputational damage.

Insurance carriers, courts and regulatory agencies will begin to examine businesses closely to ensure that they take sexual harassment seriously and act to protect their employees and customers. Here are some questions you need to consider when addressing sexual harassment at your business:

  1. How do you encourage employees to report inappropriate conduct? The best way to address sexual harassment allegations is to respond quickly. Employees should be regularly reminded that there won’t be any retaliation for reporting inappropriate behavior. You should also ensure that there are multiple ways for employees to make anonymous reports to management.  
  2. Does your employee harassment training address your workplace’s unique traits? A standard workplace policy is a good starting point for addressing sexual harassment, but you should also think about how your employees interact with co-workers and customers.
  3. Do your insurance policies include exclusions for sexual harassment? Many commercial general liability policies exclude claims for sexual harassment. Although employment practices liability insurance can provide you with coverage, you also need to ensure that policy periods offer coverage throughout the statute of limitations in your area.

Contact us at (619) 297-3160 for help addressing sexual harassment in the workplace.

What do Cryptocurrencies Mean for Businesses?

Technology has helped add efficiency and modern conveniences to daily life, and now computer experts have applied digital traits to new, online currencies. Cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, only exist digitally and their decentralized nature can offer a number of advantages. However, as these currencies continue to grow, it’s important to know the risks regarding their use.

Most cryptocurrencies are decentralized and work without administrators or a central bank. Instead, a network of users makes transactions directly between each other, and a shared system of private keys and public ledgers authenticates the entire system. Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, encourages users to participate in this system by rewarding them with additional bitcoins. In fact, this is the only way that new bitcoins are put into circulation.

The design of cryptocurrencies offers a number of potential benefits:

  • Little or no transaction fees
  • Enhanced fraud protection
  • Less reliance on data collection and retention

Cryptocurrencies—and bitcoin in particular—have greatly increased in popularity over the past few years. Japan declared bitcoin legal tender in 2017 and online services like Microsoft, Overstock and PayPal also accept the currency. While accepting cryptocurrencies may help attract customers, there are some important risks to keep in mind:

  • Price volatility—The value of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies can change drastically over a small period of time. Bitcoin reached a value of $17,000 in January 2018 before falling to $7,000 less than a month later.
  • Anonymity—Although the details about a cryptocurrency’s users and transactions are often held in a public ledger, details such as names and locations are encrypted. This can be an issue when complying with regulations on customer identification or fraud protection.
  • Cyber security—Cryptocurrencies exist digitally, and the proof of ownership is often limited to the private keys used to authenticate transactions. This makes cryptocurrencies a prime target for hackers, especially because many businesses aren’t aware of best security practices to protect this new form of currency.