Supervisors Employer Liability Issues

News & Analysis as of

NLRB Decision Highlights Problems For Colleges Responding To Organizing Efforts

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has upheld the SEIU’s narrow election victory at Laguna College of Art + Design, despite evidence that a supervisory full-time faculty member had campaigned for the union. In Laguna,...more

Make Sure Your Supervisors Know that Lactation Breaks Are Required by Law

Maybe once a year, I get a call from a client asking about what the law requires with regard to lactation breaks for nursing mothers. I tell them that § 207(r) of the Fair Labor Standards Act requires them to provide (A)...more

Is Supervisor-Induced Stress a Protected Disability? California Appellate Court Says No

Employers often encounter challenging questions regarding their duty to accommodate employees who are diagnosed with stress, anxiety, or other mental health conditions that allegedly impact job performance absent...more

Asking Supervisor to Stop Harassment Qualifies as Protected Activity Under Title VII

A recent Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling may concern employers, since it gives a broad definition to Title VII retaliation claims. On April 22, the court of appeals affirmed the trial court in ruling that informal...more

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Holds Hostile Work Environment Can Be Created With A Single Racial Epithet

Despite consistent direction from the United States Supreme Court that courts should look at "all the circumstances" in determining whether a workplace environment is sufficiently hostile or abusive to give rise to an...more

Supervisor’s “Smoking Gun” Comments Keep ADA Claim Alive

A recent case out of New York reminds employers of the serious impact that off-the-cuff comments can have, especially when they take place during an employee’s termination. A couple of statements uttered by a supervisor,...more

More than Just a Fable – Why the “Cat’s Paw” Matters for Employers

The Fable - “The Monkey and the Cat” is a fable (dating back to the 17th century or perhaps earlier) about a monkey who persuades a cat to pull chestnuts from the embers of a fire, only to take the reward for himself...more

“Who is a supervisor?” Ontario Ministry of Labour releases guideline

Employers often struggle with the question of who is a “supervisor” under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act. The answer to that question is obviously important because supervisors have legal duties under the...more

N.J. Supreme Court Decision in Harassment Case Mixed Bag for Employers

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently decided two key issues affecting claims of supervisory hostile work environment sexual harassment under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”). In Aguas v. State of New...more

N.J. High Court Adopts Faragher-Ellerth Defense for LAD Sexual Harassment Claims

Last week, in Aguas v. New Jersey, No. A-35-13 (Feb. 11, 2015), New Jersey’s high court embraced the federal Faragher-Ellerth defense for claims alleging vicarious liability for supervisory sexual harassment under New...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Erects New Hurdle for Harassment Plaintiffs To Overcome

Last week, the New Jersey Supreme Court analyzed the impact of an employer’s anti-harassment policy on an employee’s claims of negligence, recklessness and vicarious liability against employers under the New Jersey Law...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Provides Guidance to Employers Defending Against Certain Supervisory Harassment Claims

On February 11, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court for the first time directly addressed and adopted the standard set forth in the U.S. Supreme Court's 1998 decisions in Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth and Faragher v....more

Friendship Between Male Supervisor and Female Subordinate Does Not Create Title VII Rights for Disfavored Male

Title VII prohibits discrimination based on gender. Numerous federal courts have rejected claims by female workers that they were discriminated against when their managers showed preferential treatment toward a female...more

50 for 50: Five Decades of the Most Important Discrimination Law Developments - Number 38: The Supreme Court Defines “Supervisor”...

In hostile environment harassment cases under Title VII, an employer’s liability for the conduct of its employees depends on whether a supervisor or an individual contributor commits the wrongful acts. If a supervisor...more

Employment Newsletter - October 2013: U.S. Supreme Court Limits Who Qualifies as a “Supervisor” under Title VII

On June 24, 2013, the United States Supreme Court in Vance v. Ball State University, 133 S.Ct. 2434 (2013), issued one of the most important decisions on workplace harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act since it...more

International Employment Law Review: August 2013 - Issue 4: Recent Employment Law Developments in the United States

U.S. Supreme Court Decisions - Court Limits Definition of “Supervisor” Under Federal Anti-Discrimination Law - In Vance v. Ball State University (June 24, 2013), in a 5-4 decision, a majority of the Supreme...more

Eleventh Circuit Declines to Impute Supervisor's Knowledge of Misconduct to the Employer

On July 24, 2013, the Eleventh Circuit joined several other courts of appeal in declining to allow the Secretary of Labor to lay blame for a supervisor's knowledge of his own misconduct to his employer in establishing a prima...more

When Knowing Is No Sure Thing: 11th Circuit Requires OSHA to Dig Deeper Before Imputing Supervisor's Misconduct to Employer

In a recent case of first impression, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit reversed the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) and held that an employer is not automatically liable for the health...more

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Three Decisions Favorable to Employers

By the end of this year’s term, the United States Supreme Court had issued three “employer-friendly” decisions. While the decisions do not dramatically alter the employment law landscape, employers will still welcome the...more

Words Can Hurt. Seriously.

There are certain responsibilities that come with being a supervisor, and knowing how to talk to people is one of them. ...more

Supervisor Misconduct Alone Is Insufficient To Impute Employer Liability Under The OSH Act

On July 24, 2013, in Comtran Group, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit overturned a final decision of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission ("Review...more

Raising the Bar on Employer Liability for Harassment and Retaliation

On June 24, the Supreme Court issued two new opinions in favor of employers, both five-to-four decisions that narrowly construe the scope of Title VII’s retaliation and employer liability rules and significantly raise the bar...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - July 2013: Employee Claiming Retaliation Must Meet Higher Standard of Proof

In another favorable ruling for employers, the Supreme Court in University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar clarified that employees must satisfy a higher “but for” standard of proof to prevail in a Title VII...more

United States Supreme Court Issues Two Employer-Friendly Decisions With Far-Reaching Impact in Employee Harassment Cases

On June 24, 2013, the United States Supreme Court issued two employer-friendly opinions that substantially narrow potential liability for claims of supervisor misconduct and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act...more

Part 2 of 2: Supreme Court Rules That "Supervisors" Under Title VII Must Have Power to Take Tangible Employment Actions

On Monday, we blogged about the first of two recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions interpreting Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar. Today, we’ll...more

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