What Is the Scope of Sexual Assault at Work?

Sexual Assault at Work

Whether the business is responsible is a common question in employment cases involving injury by a co-worker or by another employee. The overall assumption is that a company is responsible for its employees' actions, but not always. The legal theory called vicarious liability states that an employer may be held liable for an employee's actions when such actions take place or are undertaken on an employment basis. Employment lawyers in OKC can illustrate this as it applies to your case.


Sexual assault by a supervisor


A female worker who worked seasonally was housed in an employment facility during her employment, according to a lawsuit filed with the federal court. Her supervisor once arrived in her apartment and told her that he had to conduct an inspection. The female worker claimed that while in the apartment, he raped her. She reported the violation to a manager, but no investigation was carried out, and the supervisor was not subjected to disciplinary action. Later on, she was fired.


Was the sexual assault within the scope of employment of the supervisor?


In determining whether action by the supervisor in the assault against the female worker took place within the scope of his job, there are many factors to consider. It is a vital issue, as it will determine if the company must take responsibility for the supervisor. The Court had to make sure whether the supervisor could carry out the sexual assault by using his authority. The fact is that the employer controlled the flat leased by the female employee and the person who allegedly raped her was in charge of it; the court considered these areas.


The supervisor also assigned workers such as the employee in question to company-furnished apartments. In other words, he had the right to enter and inspect the premises. The supervisor informed the employee on the date in question that he was going to investigate the apartment to see if additional staff could be provided space.


Employment Law

Vicarious Liability: Can It be Applied here?


This evidence suggests that, when the alleged violation happened, the supervisor acted within the scope of his work. While sexual assaults are in most cases the type of deliberate misconduct that would fall outside the scope of employment, there can be an exception when an assault is performed in one’s capacity as an employee.


The jury could then determine that the supervisor had use of his employer's authority to gain access to the apartment. Sadly, it was also illustrated that the employer knew of the sexual misconduct propensity of this particular supervisor as other complaints of sexual harassment were made in that home. The federal court, therefore, permitted this case for trial.


If you face any such situation at your workplace in OKC,it is best to take advice from an employment lawyer. Contact our experienced employment lawyers in OKC at Mazaheri Law Firm who will help you speak out against abuse at work and fight for you.