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Board members may count as employees for Title VII suit

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Some small nonprofit organizations may think they don’t have to follow Title VII anti-discrimination rules because they only have one or two employees. They could be wrong if the board that manages the organization pays officers to attend meetings and generally holds them accountable for assignments and meetings.

Recent case: Nakeisha sued her employer, a union local, claiming discrimination. The union said it wasn’t covered by Title VII since it had only two employees, including Nakeisha.

But the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals said she could count as employees several board members, who were paid a small stipend for their services, were listed on the payroll and who had duties and responsibilities and accountability to the union president.

When they were added, the union had 15 employees and was therefore covered by Title VII. (Frederick v. Local 926 UBCJA, No. 13-1013, 2nd Cir., 2014)

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