Court tightens rules for workplace liability

DETROIT (AP) -- The Michigan Supreme Court says public employers are not liable for sexual harassment committed by workers if the behavior was not foreseeable. In a 4-3 decision last Friday, the court's conservative majority cleared Wayne County in the sexual assault of a female inmate by a male deputy at the jail in 2001. The court says the deputy's actions were expressly prohibited by his bosses and there's no "fair basis" to blame the county. The court says the deputy did have a spotty work record but there was no indication that he would commit sexual assault. The three dissenting justices say the majority threw out a 15-year-old Supreme Court decision that had been used by lawyers and judges to guide them in cases of employer liability. Published: Tue, Aug 2, 2011