Employer’s Liability For Sexual Offence Essay


Discuss about the Employer Liability for Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Should Employers be Liable for the Actions of Employees that are outside the scope of employment.


Thesis statement:

Sexual harassment in the workplace is regarded as the sheer ground of discrimination. According to the Employment law, the government of Canada has prohibited any discrimination in the workplace regarding caste, age, sex, ethnic origin and disability. This report will point out whether the employer will be liable for the sexual harassment made by an employee outside the course of employment or not.

Summary of the legal issues:

The matter related to the sexual harassment is a sensitive topic and there are certain legal issues arose in such cases. According to the Employment Law of Canada, every employer is liable for the wrongful action made by the employees. This liability is termed as vicarious liability. The concept of vicarious liability has been established by the case of K.L.B. v British Columbia 2003 SCC 51. The scope of vicarious liability is extended in case of off-duty conducts too which has been proved in Cimpean v. Payton [2008] O.J. No. 2665. Further, the sexual discrimination has been prohibited under Canadian Human Rights act and the liability of the employers ("Sexual harassment at the workplace needs to be addressed, says psychologist", 2018).

Opposing viewpoints:

However, the liabilities of the employer regarding the actions done by the employees have been criticised. It has been mentioned under the employment law of Canada that there must be certain reasonable connection in between the employer and the employee. According to Jacobi v. Griffiths (1999) 174 D.L.R. (4th) 71, the employer could be vicariously liable only for the wrongful acts of the employees during the course of employment. It has also been mentioned under the Workmen Compensation Act that an employer should not be liable for paying compensation if an employee engaged with certain acts that are outside the scope of employment.

Self opinion:

Sexual harassment can be treated as the threat to the personal safety of the women in the workplace and against the provisions of the Employment Law of Canada. An employer should be regulated the act of the employee regarding sexual harassment for maintaining the integrity of the workplace. However, the employer should be liable for the act of the employee even if the act is outside the scope of employment because it is the duty of the employer to control the acts of the employee. According to K.J. Holland (2016), the employers are required to take preventive measures for foreseeable harassment made by the employees irrespective of the facts whether the actions are outside or within the scope of employment (Holland & Cortina, 2016).


Holland, K. J., & Cortina, L. M. (2016). Sexual harassment: Undermining the wellbeing of working women. In Handbook on well-being of working women (pp. 83-101). Springer, Dordrecht.

Sexual harassment at the workplace needs to be addressed, says psychologist. (2018). CBC News. Retrieved 26 February 2018, from

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