06182018Mon
Last updateWed, 13 Jun 2018 12am

Featured Articles

GN Diamond offers independents advanced tools to maximize sales

GN Diamond offers independents advanced tools to maximize sales

GN Diamond continues to expand the offerings it brings to more than 3,500 independent jewelers. Along with supplying loose diamonds and finished jewelry, the wholesaler provides so much more - marketing materials, advertising strategies and other too...

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What's New

ASHI launches 2018 Holiday Marketing Program

ASHI launches 2018 Holiday Marketing Program

ASHI is excited to announce the launch of it’s 2018 Holiday Wish Book. This year ASHI has included exclusive jewelry from its Fusion Diamond Collection, the newest additions from its Lovebright and I DO Bridal Collections and the hottest trends in di...

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On The Move

Time Delay marks 40 years of crafting custom enhancements for one-of-a-kind watches

Time Delay marks 40 years of crafting custom enhancements for one-of-a-kind watches

(DALLAS) - Time Delay Corporation is celebrating 40 years in the time-honored tradition of offering its independent jewelers exactly what they need: the latest and finest in custom dials, bezels and bracelets at competitive prices, along with custom d...

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Industry Events

Biggest group yet for RJO Next Gen Experience

Biggest group yet for RJO Next Gen Experience

(OAK BROOK, Ill.) - Setting aside time to continually learn about the industry and invest in yourself as an employee is not an easy task. It takes planning and drive. Last month, almost 40 members of RJO spent a weekend retreat at RJO Next Gen 2018. T...

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Other News

Everything Old is New Again

Everything Old is New Again

Retailers discover antique & period jewelry resonates with today’s shoppers  

Jewelers operating in a fiercely competitive climate must get creative when connecting with their core customers. Now the demographic of jewelry consumers and the re...

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Latest News

Everything Old is New Again

12 DAYS AGO
Everything Old is New Again

Retailers discover antique & period jewelry resonates with today’s shoppers  

Jewelers operating in a fiercely competitive climate must get creative when connecting with their core customers. Now the demographic of jewelry consumers and the reasons they buy are light years away from those in ...

Readmore

Chance meeting leads to a unique bank/jeweler appraisal partners

12 DAYS AGO
Chance meeting leads to a unique bank/jeweler appraisal partners

Terry Kahn, GG, president of Jewelry Appraisers of North Carolina.

(GREENSBORO, N.C.) - A happenstance meeting between an established independent jewelry appraiser and innovative trust banking executive in Greensboro, NC led the bank (First Citizens Bank) to establish a unique system, centralizing in ...

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Biggest group yet for RJO Next Gen Experience

5 DAYS AGO
Biggest group yet for RJO Next Gen Experience

(OAK BROOK, Ill.) - Setting aside time to continually learn about the industry and invest in yourself as an employee is not an easy task. It takes planning and drive. Last month, almost 40 members of RJO spent a weekend retreat at RJO Next Gen 2018. These three days were full of networking, idea shar...

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Jewelers for Children celebrates 20 years

5 DAYS AGO
Jewelers for Children celebrates 20 years

Honors Bill Luth and Jeffrey Cohen

(NEW YORK)  - Jewelers for Children held their 20th annual Facets of Hope event on June 3, in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The charity announced that $1.95 million had been raised to support their charity partners in the year ahead bringing t...

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Time Delay marks 40 years of crafting custom enhancements for one-of-a-kind watches

5 DAYS AGO
Time Delay marks 40 years of crafting custom enhancements for one-of-a-kind watches

(DALLAS) - Time Delay Corporation is celebrating 40 years in the time-honored tradition of offering its independent jewelers exactly what they need: the latest and finest in custom dials, bezels and bracelets at competitive prices, along with custom diamond enhancements for most pre-owned, precious t...

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Sissy’s Log Cabin names Lamar McCubbin new president

5 DAYS AGO
Sissy’s Log Cabin names Lamar McCubbin new president

Arkansas’s largest independently owned jewelry store promotes new president from within

(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.)  - Sissy’s Log Cabin has announced the promotion of Lamar McCubbin to president. An industry veteran with more than 25 years experience, McCubbin has worked with the brand since 2014. With ...

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ASHI launches 2018 Holiday Marketing Program

5 DAYS AGO
ASHI launches 2018 Holiday Marketing Program

ASHI is excited to announce the launch of it’s 2018 Holiday Wish Book. This year ASHI has included exclusive jewelry from its Fusion Diamond Collection, the newest additions from its Lovebright and I DO Bridal Collections and the hottest trends in diamond and gemstone jewelry. For over 34 years, ASH...

Readmore

GIA launches Proprietary Cut Program for diamond grading reports

5 DAYS AGO
GIA launches Proprietary Cut Program for diamond grading reports

Branded cut names may now be included on select reports

(CARLSBAD, Calif.)  - GIA (Gemological Institute of America) laboratory clients can now participate in GIA’s Proprietary Cut Program for diamonds with branded cut names. GIA grading reports for diamonds submitted as part of this program will...

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The Marketing Minute: Trend Spotting

8 MONTHS AGO

Marketing specialist George Prout produces a weekly marketing advice video for retail jewelers, The Monday Morning Marketing Minute. He’s generously agreed to let us share them with our eWeekly readers.

 

Click here  to see more of George Prout’s The Marketing Minute

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Marketing Minute: Pricing Strategy

8 MONTHS AGO

Marketing specialist George Prout produces a weekly marketing advice video for retail jewelers, The Monday Morning Marketing Minute. He’s generously agreed to let us share them with our eWeekly readers.

 

Click here  to see more of George Prout’s The Marketing Minute

 

 

 

 

 

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EPLI - the insurance you don’t need?

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Employment Practices Liability Insurance

corporations get sued for their employment practices.

• Fact: More than 50% of EPL charges are filed against small businesses.

I don’t need it because most claims can be settled out of court.

• Fact: True, most claims never get to trial but the typical claim will cost $65,000 to investigate, defend, and settle; many cost much more.

We treat our employees like gold (or diamonds) and we bend over backwards to always be fair.

• Fact: Claims can come from the least expected; not just employees, but also previous employees, and even potential employees – people who apply and, for whatever reason, don’t get hired.

Don’t the laws only apply to companies that have more than a certain number of employees?

• Fact: There are “size of company” applications to certain federal and state laws (defined by number of employees), but the civil actions have no such restrictions.

EPL claims only happen in cities - like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

Milwaukee: Three female employees of a jewelry store sued the store for permitting a sexually hostile work environment that included inappropriate banter, touching by manager, and retaliation.

Settlement: $155,000

Michigan: A female employee and coworker alleged sexual harassment and abuse while working at a retail store; she was fired by the owner.

Demand: $100,000

Jury award: $347,250

Anchorage: A pregnant employee claimed she was denied a promotion due to her pregnancy.

Settlement: $55,000

Rhode Island: A jewelry manufacturer closed two plants. A particular employee who had received good performance reviews and who had been promoted during her tenure with the company during her employment was dismissed. She did not have seniority. She claimed wrongful termination based on age discrimination.

Demand: $17,500

Jury award: $70,000

Washington: A female store associate of a retail jewelry store claimed that the manager used foul and offensive language about female employees and customers.

Jury award: $138,600

Solano, CA: A woman claimed that she had been laid off from her job with a retail store because she had begun wearing a traditional Muslim headscarf.

Pending

Greenbelt, MD: Four employees sued the store for discriminating in hiring, pay, promotions, and conditions of employment against a particular race of employees and applicants.

Pending

What are listed above are charges of sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, wrongful discharge, hostile work environment, religious discrimination, and racial discrimination. These are all matters of public record in cities and towns across the United States.

None of the cases listed would be covered under a jeweler’s Business Liability insurance. The language in General Liability that excludes coverage from claims that fall under the broad umbrella of “employment practices” is clear and unequivocal.

And “claims” may be brought against a company by current employees, former employees, leased workers, temporary or seasonal workers, applicants seeking employment, or non-owner officers.

EPL Basics

It is illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of age, color, pregnancy, race, religion, sex or gender, national origin, or physical or mental disability. Note also that the term “disability” has been very broadly interpreted in the courts.

In the federal law, Title VII, the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), and the ADEA (Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 1967), the following employment activities are monitored and regulated:

 

  • Hiring and firing;
  • Compensation, assignment, classification of employees;
  • Transfer, promotion, layoff, or recall;
  • Job advertisements, recruiting, or testing;
  • Use of company facilities;
  • Training and apprenticeship programs;
  • Fringe Benefits;
  • Pay, retirement plans, and disability leave.

 

One problem faced by employers today is that management does not always know about underlying problems. For example a “hostile work environment” may exist in the perception of an employee or employees which management may not deem to be inappropriate – or may not even be aware of.

One important question management must be asking itself today is, are there avenues that are both friendly and unthreatening which permit an employee to confidentially discuss hostile work situations? Another question is, are there procedures and standards in place which can address the issue?

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment has been defined as any unwelcome advance or request for sexual favors. It can include quid pro quo, (literally this for that, i.e., “if you will do something for me, I will do something for you”), and may be closely related to or may accompany hostile environment situations.

Sexual harassment is not limited to the work site – it may just as easily occur elsewhere, with or without the employer’s sponsorship of an off site event.

Damages may include civil assault and battery, intentional inflictions of emotional stress, and invasion of privacy.

Are there trends?

From 1994 through the year 2000, employers prevailed in 50% to 69% of cases overall (Jury Verdict Institute) – of cases that actually went to trial. However the majority of cases do not go to trial at all and result in settlement between plaintiff and defendant, at an average cost to defend of $150,000.

And each year sees a higher number of claims filed than the year previous.

Experts predict that the economy may become another factor which increases the number of claims in the future, as employers may be forced to consolidate resources and be forced to release employees; and as replacement jobs become more difficult to find.

Insurance

As previously stated, this type of exposure is a wide gap in coverage for most jewelry business employers, due to clear exclusions in the general liability policy.

Special coverage is becoming available both through agents’ excess and surplus markets (the “wholesale” part of the jewelry industry) and through some standard carriers.

The type of coverage is “Employment Practices Liability Insurance,” or more simply, “EPLI.”

Unlike standard general liability insurance products, most EPLI is written on a “claims made” basis; whereas general liability is considered “occurrence” based.

Here’s the difference.

In general liability insurance, it is when an insured event occurred that determines coverage; and a policy covers those events which occur while the policy is in force.

For example: a person falls in your store during a time that your coverage is with company A, but suit is not brought until later, when coverage has been replaced by company B. It is company A which must respond to the claim, even though it is no longer your insurer.

In most EPLI, the time that the claim is made is what determines coverage. In the above example, if it were an employment practices situation rather than a slip-and-fall, insurance company B would have to address the claim – even though the insured event (e.g., sexual harassment) occurred before it was your insurer.

Some cautions, as result of this distinction:

1. If buying EPLI to replace a previous carrier’s coverage, be certain that the new insuror is aware of the previous coverage and agrees to accept any claims which might now arise from previous events. This is referred to as going back to the retro date, i.e., the date at which EPLI was originally purchased.

A new carrier should assume coverage for “past sins” reported in the new policy period.

2. If canceling EPLI altogether, it is wise to purchase extended coverage for any unknown claims which may have occurred while coverage was in force, but which may appear after cancellation of coverage. In insurance vernacular, this is sometimes referred to as buying a tail, which may extend for a year or more after cancellation. There is a cost for the extended coverage, but much less than the in-force policy.

Now a history test: When was the Civil Rights Act originally written?

 

  • 1866
  • 1952
  • 1964
  • 1993

 

The answer is 1866 – at the conclusion of the Civil War! It prohibited discrimination based on race and national origin.

The Civil Rights Act of 1866 remained unchanged for 98 years, at which time the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, extending protections to sex, religion, and pregnancy.

Following that: the Age Discrimination Act of 1967 (amended in 1978 and 1986) was passed; and then the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993.

The Americans with Disabilities Act is more recent legislation and contains five parts or “titles” - a very important one to the retail industry being Title III which pertains to full and equal enjoyment of goods and services, facilities or privileges of private entities serving the public.

Title III is the reason that entrances, rest rooms, and other facilities sometimes must be redesigned to make them more “user friendly.”

For more information about the Americans with Disabilities Act, contact the U. S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, (800) 514-0301 (voice) or (800) 513-0380 (TTY).

So do you need EPLI?

If you do not have the coverage, now is the time to ask your insurance professional about it. You may be pleasantly surprised at the cost, relative the potential loss. The premium is based on the number of employees that you have (and hence your risk of having a claim).

Remember the cautions about replacing or canceling EPLI coverage.

To assume that you are not at risk and do not need the coverage because you “treat your employees well and they all love you” may be naïve – and not the best strategy. While employers often are vindicated, it is the cost of defense that is the important issue – and EPLI is designed to cover that cost, as well as the damages should you lose.

Bob Carroll of Robert G. Carroll and Associates is a Certified Insurance Counselor, and has been a specialist in insurance for the jewelry industry for over 25 years - an independent agent representing Jewelers Mutual and other quality carriers in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Tennessee. He may be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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