Parter/Shareholder/Board Member Not "Employee"

Bluestein brought a suit alleging that her employer fired her because of her disability in violation of the ADA and Title VII. The defendant brought a motion for summary judgment, which the District Court granted. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. Bluestein v. Central Wisconsin Anesthesiology, S.C., Nos. 13-3724 et al. Cons. (October 15, 2014).

The record showed that Bluestein was a full partner, shareholder and board member and: (1) had equal right to vote on all matters before board; (2) shared equally in defendant’s profits/liabilities; (3) participated in hiring and firing decisions; and (4) had equal right to influence defendant’s workplace policies.

Thus, Bluestein was an “employer” rather than an “employee” under the relevant Acts, and therefore was not eligible for protection under those Acts.

The fact that Bluestein was outvoted on various issues, including her own termination, did not diminish her rights as an "employer" and not require different result.