On Wednesday, December 10, 2013, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court’s decision to dismiss the EEOC’s racial discrimination suit against Skanska USA Building Inc., holding that there were sufficient legal grounds to try Skanska as a joint employer.
In a Title VII racial discrimination claim, Plaintiff Maurice Knox sought to hold Skanska liable under a joint-employer theory. Although Skanska, a general contractor that managed the construction of a new hospital facility in Memphis, contracted with C-1, Inc., a small contractor, to provide operators for two buck hoists on its construction site, the Sixth Circuit determined that Skanska supervised and controlled the operators’ day-to-day activities without any oversight from C-1. The three-judge panel held, “The reality is that C-1 was a nonentity on the construction site. That the terms of C-1’s contract with Skanska envisioned a more active role for C-1 is besides the point. Viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiffs, the record here is enough to support a determination Skanska jointly employed the operators.”
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