Court refuses to expand Title VII liability to bosses — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Court refuses to expand Title VII liability to bosses

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

A federal court hearing a sexual harassment case has dismissed the charges against a district manager because individuals aren’t personally liable for Title VII violations.

Recent case: Rasheeda Riley worked for a Foot Locker store. She alleged a store manager sexually harassed her by asking her for sex and to go to movies and dinner. She also said he once touched her buttocks.

After Riley was terminated, she sued Food Locker, the manager who allegedly harassed her and a district manager. The lawsuit named both managers as individual plaintiffs.

The district manager argued he could not be held personally liable for sexual harassment, and the court agreed. Although Title VII defines “employer” to include “agents” acting on behalf of the company, the court said Congress didn’t intend for those “agents” to be personally liable. (Riley v. Foot Locker, No. 3:09-CV-411, ED NC, 2010)

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