The Shifting Landscape of Workplace Harassment Cases

legal By: Jennifer S. Jackman

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court narrowed the scope of employers' automatic liability for harassment by supervisors. But you still need to take steps to promote a harassment-free workplace and to ensure that your association can defend itself if litigation occurs.

Scary but true: Associations can be held automatically liable—in legal terms, "strictly liable"—in civil lawsuits for harassment by supervisors. Why? Because employers are charged with a duty to create a work environment free of harassment and discrimination. And supervisors, who are cloaked with the authority to hire, fire, and affect the terms and conditions of the workplace, are on the front line, serving as the face of the organization. ...