The Nexus Between Vicarious Liability of Employers and the Acts Committed “in the Cause of Employment” By The Employees: A Discourse


  • Bamidele O. Adebayo Osun State University, lectures in the Faculty of Law,


Vicarious Liability, In the cause of Employment, Employers, Employees


Vicarious liability makes employers accountable for the wrongful negligent or intentional tort
actions of their employees, while acting in the course of their employment. The scope of this
paper excludes other relationships between the employer and those considered not to be
employees, such agents or independent. Depending on the case, an injured third party can sue
both the employee (as the actual person responsible in law) and the employer (deemed by the
law to be indirectly, or vicariously, responsible for the same injury).Indeed, the employer’s
liability is founded upon the doctrine that an act or omission of the employee in the course of his
employment is that of the employer so that the employer may be made liable in tort. This paper
aims at putting in right perspective, the limitation of employers’ vicarious liability for the
wrongful acts of their employees. It combines both doctrinal and non-doctrinal approaches in its
research methodology. It finds out, among others, that employers should not be vicariously liable
for criminal acts of their employees unless such are ordered by them. It also answers some
pertinent questions, such as: What is the extent of the employer’s liability for the wrongful acts of
his employees? What is the meaning of “in the course of employment” and its connection with
the employers’ “vicarious liability”? It recommended that employers are vicariously liable to
the extent of the closeness or nexus of the wrongful acts to the employees’ duties, and base its
conclusion on this and related issues.

Author Biography

Bamidele O. Adebayo, Osun State University, lectures in the Faculty of Law,

Research Candidate, Osun State University, lectures in the Faculty of Law, Redeemer’s University, Ede, Osun State, Nigeria.