Individual Managers May Be Liable Under Section 1981.


Individual managers should be aware that they may be held personally liable for race discrimination under Section 1981, as a recent case illustrates.

Only companies, and not individuals, can be held liable under most federal antidiscrimination statutes, like Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Employees, however, can also bring claims of race discrimination under Section 1981, and a Pennsylvania federal court held that such claims can be asserted against individual managers. Therefore, in Suero v. Motorworld Automotive Group, Inc., the court refused to throw out the employee’s claim against the manager that he failed to take any action in response to the employee’s complaints about racially harassment by co-workers, which created a hostile work environment.