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Avoiding Joint Bias Liability Requires More Than Just Contracts

Feb. 15, 2019, 11:18 AM

Companies will have to be more attentive to their day-to-day management of on-site contractors if they want to avoid being held jointly liable with their staffing companies for complaints of harassment or discrimination.

These days, judges are more likely to look beyond the four corners of a contract to determine whether companies are joint employers of particular workers. That’s what happened Feb. 6 when a federal appeals court in San Francisco found that two Washington state fruit growers and their employment agency could all be jointly liable for discriminating against Thai guest workers.

The definitions for “employer” and “employee” within ...

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