SW Legal studies in Business

Employers, Not Managers, Liable for Retaliation
Description

Supreme court of California held that under the California law against employment discrimination, an employer may be liable for retaliation against an employee who exercises rights under the law, but individual managers who may have participated in the retaliation are not liable.

Topic Employment Discrimination
Key Words

Sex Discrimination; Liability; Personal Liability

C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts

Scott Jones sued his employer, The Lodge, and his supervisor, Jean Weiss, for sexual orientation harassment and retaliation in violation of California’s anti-discrimination statute. The jury found for Jones and awarded $1.4 million against The Lodge and $155,000 against Weiss. The trial judge granted defendants’ motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. Jones appealed. The appeals court reversed and reinstated the original judgment. Defendants appealed.

Decision

Reversed and remanded. An employer may be held liable for retaliation under the law, but individuals may not be held personally liable for their role in retaliation. Jones worked for The Lodge, not for Weiss, so Weiss cannot be liable under the statute, only The Lodge.

Citation Jones v. The Lodge at Torrey Pines Partnership, 177 P.3d 232 (Sup. Ct., Calif., 2008)

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