Don't Take It Personally! Under Some State And Federal Laws, HR Professionals Can Be Held Individually Liable
New Jersey attorney Jason Storipan contributed to the article "Don't Take It Personally! Under Some State And Federal Laws, HR Professionals Can Be Held Individually Liable" in the July 2012 issue of HR Magazine. The article stated that keeping the company out of court by ensuring that managers comply with the law remains an important part of any HR professional's job. But a number of laws hold managers, including HR managers, personally liable for conduct "in the scope of employment" that violates employment laws. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) specifically allows individuals to be sued. The person who sets the pay and policies can be individually sued, as well as the company as a whole. Jason noted that the more control you have of the employment relationship, the more likely you can be deemed an "employer" under the FLSA and held liable. If you control the terms of employment or have a major role in making personnel decisions and establishing pay policies, you could be held personally responsible for any damages or other remedies under the law.