The enclosed article will focus on a June 24, 2013 decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in an employment discrimination harassment case in which the Court defined what constitutes a “supervisor” to impose liability on the employer. The Court said that the supervisor must have the ability to effect “a significant change in employment status” of subordinate employees such as “hiring, firing, failing to promote…” This was a significant loss for the EEOC, another agency in the US Department of Labor, which had sought a much less level of supervisory responsibility to hold an employer liable. We believe this decision will be a potent weapon for employers to use in the context of OSHA cases where OSHA tries to cite an employer for a violation based upon the knowledge of an hourly employee who may be able to direct a less senior employee in some aspect of work, thus reducing their burden of proof of having to show that a true “supervisor” was aware or should have been aware of the violation. Please feel free to use this article within your training and to circulate it within your organization.
Read full article here.