Sweden: A care assistance company was not obligated to investigate harassments from a caretaker’s partner

A care assistant was employed by a care assistance company as a full-time personal assistant for a caretaker. The care assistant performed the work mainly from the caretaker’s home and the caretaker lived together with her partner who was also her trustee. During the employment, the care assistant informed her employer that she had been subject to sexual and racist harassment from the caretaker’s partner. Shortly thereafter, the care assistant reported in sick and her employment was later terminated. The questions before the Labor Court were whether the harassment fell under an employer’s investigation obligation that follows from the Swedish Discrimination Act. According to said Act, an employer is obligated to investigate all claims that an employee has been subject to harassment from a person who is performing work for the employer. The Labor Court initially found that it was indisputable that the caretaker’s partner was not employed by the care assistance company. Further, the partner’s position as trustee for the caretaker did not result in that the partner could be considered as an equal to an employee of the care assistance company. The Labor Court concluded that the care assistance company had no investigation obligation concerning the harassment according the Swedish Discrimination Act.

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Sweden, please contact Robert Stromberg, Partner at Cederquist (www.cederquist.se) at robert.stromberg@cederquist.se
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