U.S. Supreme Court

Can Employer Be Liable for Influence of Biased Supervisor? Supreme Court to Decide


The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of an Army reservist who claims he was fired from his hospital job because of a biased supervisor who influenced but did not make the decision.

The case was brought by Vincent Staub, a hospital technician in Peoria, Ill., who trained in the reserves for one weekend a month and an additional two to three weeks each year, according to the Associated Press and the cert petition (PDF posted by SCOTUSblog).

Staub had claimed a woman who was second in command in his hospital department assigned him to weekend rotation, even though she was aware of his military commitment, and then sought volunteers to fill in on his reserve weekends. She allegedly said his weekends were a strain on the department, sought help to get rid of him, and gave him a disciplinary warning based on what Staub said were trumped-up charges.

The issue is when an employer can be held liable based on unlawful intent by employees who did not make an employment decision but had an influence on the decision-maker.

Hat tip to How Appealing.

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