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Showing posts from February, 2014

A SUBCONTRACTOR’S HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT CAN BE A GENERAL CONTRACTOR’S LIABILITY

In December 2013, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a general contractor could be liable under Title VII for a hostile work environment claim brought by a subcontractor’s employee under a “joint employer theory.” EEOC v. Skanska USA Building, Inc., No. 12-5967 (6th Cir. Dec 10, 2013). In Skanska, the subcontractor’s employees complained directly to the general contractor about the hostile work environment, alleging that they were the subject of racial slurs and epithets including “the n-word” and were subjected to graphic depictions such as a picture of a Caucasian person shooting an African-American posted in the port-a-potty. The alleged offenders were employees of the general contractor, other subcontractors, and third parties. Despite having knowledge of the complaints, the general contractor took no action to remedy the problem, instead directing the subcontractor to fire the complaining employee due to them being a “poor fit.”
     Why was the general contractor l…