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Workers’ comp doesn’t cover supervisor sexual harassment

by on
in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

When a supervisor sexually harasses a subordinate, the subordinate has a potential Title VII lawsuit. However, she does not have a workers’ compensation claim.

Recent case: Back in 1988, when Pamela Cagle worked in the Guilford College cafeteria, she claimed she was cornered by her supervisor and harassed. Cagle said the man de­­manded that she touch his penis and also grabbed her breasts.

Cagle complained and the college agreed to consider the case a workers’ compensation matter. For the next 17 years, workers’ comp insurance paid for Cagle’s psychological treatment, supposedly caused by the harassment.

Then the insurer stopped paying. It argued it never should have been involved in the case because the supervisor wasn’t acting within the scope of his employment when he harassed Cagle.

The court agreed and cut off the payments. (Cagle v. Marriott, et al., No. COA11-816, Court of Appeals of North Carolina, 2012)

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