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Harassment/employer's liability: Employers held vicariously liable under 'stalking' legislation

This report relates to 1 case(s)

Key points

In Majrowski v Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust, the Court of Appeal holds:

  • Vicarious liability is not restricted to common law claims. An employer may be vicariously liable for a breach of statutory duty imposed only on his employee, if that would be just and reasonable in light of a sufficiently close connection between the unlawful act and the employee's duties and/or if the risk of the employee's wrongdoing is "reasonably incidental" to the employee's duties and, further, if the statute does not expressly (or on its proper construction) exclude such vicarious liability.
  • Where it is just and reasonable in the circumstances, an employer may be vicariously liable under s.3 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 for harassment of third parties, including fellow employees, committed by one of its employees in the course of his/her employment.
  • The Court also stated, obiter, that the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 applies to the harassment, by an employee during the course of his employment, of fellow employees and all third parties, including outsiders with whom the employee's work brings him/her into regular contact.