Thursday, June 28, 2012

An Alter Ego Might Not Always Be a Good Thing

The term alter ego has proven quite lucrative for Sasha Fierce, better known as Beyonce Knowles, however the Court’s use of the term “alter ego” has not proven as beneficial for Benjamin Enterprises, Inc (BEI). While some career driven individuals strive to be leaders, exemplifying all attributes of a true professional, others choose a much different path. In the corporate world, an employee’s conduct is often viewed as a reflection of the company for which they are employed. In the legal world, an employer may even be held liable for an employee’s actions. Recently, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a judgment imputing liability of a senior executive’s indiscretions on the employer under the alter ego doctrine. The former BEI employee, Martha Townsend, claimed that Hugh Benjamin, BEI’s corporate Vice President, had sexually harassed her for a number of years. Based on the facts, the Court found that alter ego liability applied and BEI was liable as Benjamin’s employer. You can view Townsend v. Benjamin Enterprises, Inc. by clicking the hyperlink.

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