As an employer, it is likely that you will encounter a situation at some point where an employee gets in trouble with the law or is responsible for damages while at work. In a situation such as this, it may be initially unclear as to whether the employer is liable for the employee's mistake, or whether the employee is individually liable.
Therefore, it is important that employers take the time to understand the responsibilities that individual employees have versus the potential liabilities that employers could face. Employers can often be held liable for certain misconduct, even if the employer did no wrong or had no intention of causing harm.
When is an employer responsible for workplace harassment?
When an employee is accused of harassing another employee in the workplace, it is questionable as to whether an employer could have done much to prevent such an occurrence. However, unfortunately harassment liability is becoming a dangerous issue for employers. If the employer in question cannot prove that the company exercised the appropriate amount of care in regard to the incident after the employer made a complaint, they can be held liable.
Therefore, employers need to be aware of the importance of company procedures and policies surrounding the reaction to internal complaints. Not reacting appropriately to an employee complaint, especially a complaint relating to workplace harassment, can have severe consequences for the company.
If you are concerned about successfully preventing employer liability, it is vital that you understand the intricacies of the law when it comes to the responsibilities that employers have for their employees' actions.