2nd Circuit: Common Law Joint Employer Standard Applies to Title VII
All Employers with CT, NY, and VT Employees
March 7, 2022
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For the first time, in Felder v. United States Tennis Association, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals identified a specific test for determining who is considered a “joint employer” under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The court aligned with other Circuit Courts stating that a joint employer relationship exists when two or more entities, according to common law principles, share significant control of the same employee, such as control over an employee’s hiring, firing, training, promotion, discipline, supervision, including handling of records, insurance, and payroll. Because exercise of control is the guiding indicator, factors indicating a joint-employment relationship may vary depending on the case. However, all aspects of the relationship must be assessed and weighed with no one factor being decisive.
There, an African-American security guard was assigned to work at a tennis tournament who refused to issue him security credentials; he alleged discrimination against the tournament association. The court stated that an entity can only be liable under Title VII as a joint employer for rejecting the temporary assignment of a contractor’s employee if the entity would have been the employee’s joint employer had it accepted his assignment. More specifically, an employee must allege that the entity would have exercised significant control over the terms and conditions of his employment.
- Review vendor contracts and joint employer relationships with legal counsel.
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Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.
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