Townsend v. Benjamin Enterprises, Inc.

Second Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling in Townsend v. Benjamin Enterprises, Inc.

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Full text copy of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruling affirming the liability of Benjamin Enterprises for sexual harassment by its vice president, whose role and responsibilities made him essentially a proxy for the company itself.

From the ruling:

"Here, Hugh Benjamin is the only corporate Vice President of BEI, operating as second-in-command, with a position immediately below Michelle Benjamin in the corporate hierarchy. He is also a corporate shareholder with a financial stake in BEI. All of BEI’s corporate shares are held by Hugh Benjamin, Michelle Benjamin, and their two children. Given these facts, the jury reasonably could have concluded that Hugh Benjamin was sufficiently high within the corporate hierarchy to qualify as BEI’s alter ego…

Moreover, Hugh Benjamin exercised a significant degree of control over corporate affairs, which is consistent with alter ego liability. He collaborated with Michelle Benjamin on corporate decisions including hiring, and the supervisors and managers in the field reported directly to him.”

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