Understanding Employment Practices Claims in School Board Lawsuits

The role that school boards play in shaping the educational landscape for our children comes with challenges and risks they need to address. One of the risks to consider is the potential for employment practices liability claims. These claims can lead to significant legal and financial consequences for the school board or educational institution. Understanding the significance of these claims and the value of adequate insurance coverage can help your agency provide the protection they need.

Employment Practices Claims in School Board Lawsuits

Employment practices claims are cases brought by current or former employees against an employer alleging violations of employment law or wrongful treatment on the job. School boards, in particular, can face a variety of allegations, including:

  • Discrimination: Claims of discrimination based on race, gender, age, disability, or any other protected characteristic
  • Harassment: Claims related to hostile work environments, sexual harassment, or other forms of workplace misconduct
  • Wrongful termination: Claims by employees believing their termination was unfair or without cause
  • Retaliation: Claims of retaliation for reporting workplace misconduct or whistleblowing

When school boards mishandle employment practices claims, it can lead to reputational harm, disruption of the educational environment, settlement costs, legal defense fees, and other severe consequences.

The Role of Employment Practices Liability Insurance

Employment practices coverage provides an essential safeguard for school boards in the event of any employment liability claims. The policies traditionally cover various claim-related costs, including the cost of legal defense and any settlements or judgments resulting from the case. These costs can financially devastate districts without liability coverage to offset them.

School boards should prioritize educators’ liability insurance in their risk management strategy. Agents specializing in this coverage can help them tailor a detailed policy that meets each educational institution’s unique needs.

Risk Mitigation and Prevention

Minimizing the risk of liability claims starts with proactive efforts by the school board. Anti-discrimination and harassment prevention policies clearly convey that the district is an inclusive, respectful workplace. Offering ongoing employee education programs that address the importance of legal compliance and set expectations can ensure that school board staff are well-informed about proper behavior and procedures.

PGUI offers programs that help educators and school boards address their liability exposure. The expertise and guidance can help educational professionals with comprehensive risk mitigation.


School board governance includes many types of risk management, including addressing the risk of employment practices claims. These claims can have far-reaching legal and financial consequences for educational institutions, so they need comprehensive protection.

As trusted insurance agents in your communities, you have a role in providing school boards with the coverage they need for their risk management plan. Together, we can help protect our school boards and those working for them so that they can focus on educating children. Contact PGUI for more information about specialized programs for educational institutions, including employment practices liability coverage.

About PGUI

Professional Governmental Underwriters, LLC., is a full-service risk management company dedicated to assisting public, educational, and non-profit entities in the management of their professional liability exposures, including educators liability insurance. We are dedicated to providing state-of-the-art professional underwriting management and loss control advisory services on behalf of our designated carriers. For more information, call us toll-free at (800) 586-6502.