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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

US Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument on Workplace Harassment Case

Whether an employer can be held vicariously liable for actions of an employee under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the subject of an oral argument this week before the Justices.

The petitioner argued:
"The judges in the Seventh Circuit itself have recognized that the rule does not really well fit the realities of the workplace. It also just moves uncertainty from one category to another. The category of supervisor may be a little bit tidier; but, under the Seventh Circuit's approach, the category of co-worker is very unpredictable. The Seventh Circuit itself, in Doe v. Oberweis Dairy, recognized that once you move people who can take—have this kind of power over their victims but can't actually take annual employment actions against them into the category of co-workers, all of a sudden you have to apply a sliding scale of negligence. Not only that, but the jury is the one who applies it. So for those categories—this exact category of employee, Your Honor, the employer going forward has very little idea of whether—what standard of care is that a particular jury would apply in that case and whether the jury would decide it is met or not."


More on Harassment
Blowing the Whistle on Unsafe Workplace Conditions Gets a Boost
Jun 16, 2011
The employee, who reported the unsafe workplace condition to the headquaters of DuPont buut became a target of employer harassment and suffered the residuals of psychological disability. Justice Albin, delivering the ...
Nov 10, 2009
... and practitioners, the non-profit group reported that deadly speed on the meat packaging line has resulted in an increase in the amount of injuries that go unreported because of employees' fear of harassment by employers.
Aug 31, 2011
Harassment of injured workers creates fear that deters claims to benefit of employers and their insurance carriers. Inured workers have limited resources to fight such unscrupulous behavior. The attorneys in Montana had ...
Jul 06, 2012
... claims which indicated an increase of 430 percent in the number of claims filed from 1980 to 1986. The main causes for these claims include job pressures, harassment, and job termination. Other types of discrimination and ...
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