Nevada District Court Rules Individual Employees Not Liable Under State Anti-Discrimination Statute

Volume 5, Issue 6
May 23, 2006

On April 25, 2006 in EEOC v. Caesars Entertainment, the United States District Court for the District of Nevada confirmed that individual employees or supervisors cannot be found liable under Nevada's fair employment practices statute.

It is well settled that individual liability is not available under Title VII, the federal Civil Rights Act which prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin; instead, the courts hold that Title VII's prohibitions apply only to employers. Nevada's fair employment practices statute, NRS 613.330, essentially mimics Title VII and other federal statutes by prohibiting discrimination and harassment on the basis race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, and disability; the state statute was also amended to protect sexual orientation. The Nevada federal court's decision in Caesars establishes that like Title VII, Nevada's statute does not apply to individual employees.

While individual employees, such as alleged harassers and/or supervisors, cannot be found liable for discrimination or harassment under either Nevada's fair employment practices statute or the federal statute, Title VII, they have not been completely immunized from suit. Employees or supervisor who engage in harassing, discriminating, or other inappropriate conduct at work can still be sued and found liable for claims such as assault, battery, defamation, invasion of privacy, false imprisonment, negligent hiring/supervision, and/or infliction of emotional distress.

KZA Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.