Posted On: August 30, 2008 by

Vicarious Liability Harassment

Vicarious liability harassment takes place when:

  • An employee gives in to unwelcome sexual advances by a supervisor; or
  • There are requests for sex or sexual conduct such as physical touching, or sexual innuendo which are made by a supervisor and they constitute either an explicit or implicit term or condition of the employees employment.


  • The supervisors harassment results in a tangible, adverse employment action.


here are many different types of actions which are considered adverse employment actions. Some adverse actions are: being fired, demotion, lack of promotion, re-assignment, poor performance review and stripping of job responsibilities.

They key to the adverse employment action is that the employee must suffer something new in the way of her job.

For example if the employee were already getting a two on her performance review out of a 5 with a 5 being the highest and the supervisor says go out with me and she refuses and the employee gets another two on her review, the burden would be on the employee to show the two was a result of not going out with the supervisor and not just a continuation of her previous job performance. On the other hand if the employee received a four on the previous review and then received a two after not going out with the supervisor, an adverse employment action would be easy to prove.