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Race discrimination: Extension of employers' liability for harassment

This report relates to 1 case(s)

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    Jones v Tower Boot Co Ltd [1997] IRLR 168 CA (1 other report)

    • Tower Boot reversed

      1 January 1997

      In Jones v Tower Boot Co Ltd (11 December 1996) EOR71A, the Court of Appeal overrules the EAT and reinterprets the test for an employer's vicarious liability for an employee's discriminatory act. "Course of employment" is to be given an everyday, rather than a tort law, meaning.

In Jones v Tower Boot Co Ltd 11.12.96 Court of Appeal, the Court of Appeal holds that the words "in the course of employment" in the Race Relations Act should be interpreted in the sense in which they are employed in everyday speech, and not restrictively by reference to the principles laid down by case law for establishing an employer's liability for the torts committed by an employee during the course of his or her employment. Accordingly, the employer in this case was liable for serious verbal and physical abuse of an employee by two of his work colleagues. It was not necessary for the racially abusive acts to be connected with authorised acts in order for the employer to be liable for them.