Lawyers who represent employees, former employees and applicants are getting more creative—and more aggressive.
No longer are they filing lawsuits containing one simple claim. Instead, you’re more likely these days to face a complaint with several claims, including charges that target executives and supervisors separately and personally. That means a manager’s assets could be at risk.
Recent example: When Henry sued his employer, a North Carolina state agency, over missed promotions, he included his managers in the lawsuit as individual defendants. He did this by alleging they had violated state law concerning negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and interference with a contract.
The court let the individual claims proceed. As a result, those supervisors may end up personally liable and, thus, financially responsible for their actions at work. (Parks v. NC Department of Public Safety, ED NC)
Advice: Duringtraining, cite this increasing personal liability risk to help motivate supervisors to follow HR’s advice on discipline, hiring and other issues. While only certain federal laws carry the prospect of personal liability, those include some of the most common trip-ups, like and .
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Worker returning from FMLA leave? You can refuse to reinstate
- The 6 Kinds of Terminations ... And 6 Corresponding Ways to Avoid Being Sued
- Court: Veterans can't sue for bias under Title VII or Florida Civil Rights Act
- Cut reinstatement risk by tracking laid-Off jobs