NEW HAMPSHIRE SUPREME COURT EXPANDS PERSONAL LIABILITY IN UNLAWFUL DISCIRMINATION CASES TO INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYEES WHO AID AND ABET OR RETALIATE WITH REGARD TO DISCRIMINATION IN THE WORKPLACE.
It is unlawful in New Hampshire to discriminate against anyone based on their age, sex, race, creed, color, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability or national origin in employment, housing accommodations, and places of public accommodations as provided therein. See NH RSA 354-A “Law Against Discrimination.” In the Fuller Oil Company, Inc. case, the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire certified two questions to the New Hampshire Supreme Court asking: 1) “Whether sections 354-A: 2 and 354-A: 7 of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes imposed individual employee liability for aiding and abetting discrimination in the workplace; and 2) “Whether sections 354-A: 19 of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes imposes individual employee liability for retaliation in the workplace.” The answer from the New Hampshire Supreme Court in U.S. EEOC, et al v. Fred Fuller Oil Company, Inc. (U.S. District Court No. 2015-0258) (Unreported Supreme Court of New Hampshire Decision issued February 23, 2016) was, “For the reasons stated below, we answer both questions in the affirmative.”
This is a watershed decision in New Hampshire that now will apply personal liability to other employees who aid and abet in discrimination in violation of the Statute, or who retaliate against an employee for exercising their rights under the New Hampshire Statute.
If you have any questions about this case, please feel free to call any of our New Hampshire licensed attorneys: Brian L. Champion, Timothy J. O’Brien and Tyler J. Smith. The experienced team of employment attorneys in the Labor & Employment Law practice group at Libby O’Brien Kingsley & Champion represents clients and provide advice on all types of employment issues. We take pride in being responsive, solution-oriented, practical and cost effective. Our extensive litigation background helps us shape strategies to avoid unnecessary employment litigation and to be successful when litigation must be undertaken.