The Doctrine of Respondeat Superior in Business Law

Subject: Law
Pages: 2
Words: 325
Reading time:
2 min

People working under an employer may engage in actions that cause monetary loss or damage to the employer by putting him/her in a position where he/she has to pay for bills that are not incurred directly. This is the basic principle underlying the doctrine of Respondeat Superior. Under this doctrine, it is held that the employer should always be ready to bear responsibility in the event that an action of the employee working under him/her results in a tort being committed. This means that the responsibility will exist even if the employee’s actions are a result of direct disobedience of the rules, orders, and regulations set by the employer.

It can only be applied if the tort was committed while the employee was still working under the employer. When a tort is committed by a junior employee, the person in a position that is considered superior and under whom the employee works will be held responsible for the action. Under this doctrine, the justification is usually based on the idea that the employer has to incur some expenses or losses following an increase in the extent of the business. It is also assumed, under this doctrine, that the employee cannot be held responsible for his/her actions, especially if he/she was attending to professional matters.

It is a type of vicarious liability that often requires the delivery of evidence that an employee actually committed the alleged tort while working for his/her employer. In the event that evidence would assist in showing, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the employee committed the alleged tort, the employer shall be held responsible. There exists an exception, however, in the event that there is proof of an employee acting in willful neglect, especially if the act is not concerned with the performance of activities expected by the employer.