Court shields supervisor from bias lawsuit

HONOLULU (AP) - The Hawaii Supreme Court says a man fired from a car dealership in 2002 can move forward with his lawsuit that claims he was terminated for complaining about derogatory remarks by a supervisor.

However, the court in a 4-1 decision says the supervisor can't be held personally liable.

Gerald Lales contends he was fired because he complained that supervisor Gary Marxen Sr. made derogatory remarks about Lales' French origin at their jobs at Wholesale Motors Co.

A circuit court judge threw out the lawsuit but the state appeals court in 2012 reinstated the claims against Marxen and the company.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the case has been closely watched in part because of the personal liability for workers or supervisors who must defend themselves if their employer does not.

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