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No personal supervisor liability under Title VII

by on
in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,FMLA Guidelines

Some employees are so angry about perceived supervisor discrimination and harassment that they want the offending boss to suffer personally. They’ll often try to sue their supervisors directly.

Fortunately, that doesn’t work for Title VII discrimination lawsuits.

Recent case: Monique Rue sued her employer, GMAC Financial Services, and several of her supervisors for alleged race discrimination and retaliation.

But the court quickly dismissed her individual claims against the supervisors. It reasoned that nothing in Title VII authorized individual liability for supervisors—just for employers. (Rue v. GMAC Financial Services, et al., No. 3:10-Cv-62, WD NC, 2011)

Final note: Don’t take this case as an absolute guarantee against personal liability. The FMLA and the Fair Labor Standards Act both allow individual liability. Employees can also sue bosses for things like defamation or intentional infliction of emotional distress.

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