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Two birds, one stone?

Julian Yew examines a recent EAT case on the joint and several liability of employers for discriminatory acts by employees

14 October 2005

Employment-related proceedings are generally brought by an employee against the employer alone. However, there are certain circumstances where claims may be brought against both the employer and a named individual. These include personal injury claims for which the employer may be vicariously liable for the tortious acts of its employees under common law – see Majrowski v Guy’s & St Thomas ‘s NHS Trust [2005] EWCA Civ 251; Hawley v Luminar Leisure Plc [2005] EWHC 5 (QB). They also include discrimination claims where the employer may be vicariously liable under statute for failing to take reasonable steps to prevent the discriminatory acts of its employees and workers (s 41(1) of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (SDA), s 56 (1)(b) of the Race Relations Act 1975; s 8 (6)(b); s 8 (3) of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995; reg 30 (1)(b) of the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 and reg 30 (1)(b) of the Employment Equality (Sexual Orienta...

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