The Supreme Court has reversed lower court decisions which had found Morrisons liable. The decision is important generally on how far employers are vicariously liable for employees.
In WM Morrison Supermarkets v Various claimants, www.bailii.org, an aggrieved employee of Morrisons published payroll data on the internet from his computer at home.
Some 5,500 employees sued Morrisons in the civil courts for damages in respect of the disclosure.
The Supreme Court has now held that Morrisons is not vicariously liable. The employee’s action was not so closely connected with acts the employee was authorised to do that it might fairly and properly be regarded as done by the employee while acting in the ordinary course of his employment.
The employee was not engaged in furthering his employer’s business but was pursuing a personal vendetta.