Members of the Firm Susan Gross Sholinsky and William J. Milani (Labor and Employment - New York), Michael S. Kun (Labor and Employment - Los Angeles), and Steven M. Swirsky (Labor and Employment, Health Care and Life Sciences - New York) authored an article in Employee Relations Law Journal titled “Japanese Parent Company May Be Liable for Employment Decisions of Its US Subsidiary.” 

Following is an excerpt:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently decided a case that should be taken into consideration when Japanese (and other foreign-based) companies determine the level of active involvement that their parent company will have in making employment decisions affecting U.S.-based employees. In Brown v. Daikin Am. Inc., the plaintiff, Todd Brown, filed a race and national origin discrimination lawsuit against both his employer, Daikin America, and its Japanese parent company, Daikin Industries, Ltd., located in Japan.

The federal district court (the lowest level federal court) for the Southern District of New York (which includes New York City) had held that Brown failed to state a claim against the Japanese parent company, Daikin Industries, on his race and national origin discrimination claims. The court held, among other things, that Daikin Industries, as the parent company, was not Brown’s “employer,” a primary element of a discrimination claim under federal, state, and New York City anti-discrimination laws. On appeal by the plaintiff, the Second Circuit of Appeals “reversed,” finding that the American subsidiary and the Japanese corporate parent were, on the fact before it, part of a “single integrated enterprise” and that the parent could therefore be considered Brown’s “employer.”

The article is based on the authors' Act Now Advisory of the same name - read the full version here.

Jump to Page

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.