With little regard for general corporation protections, several courts have ruled employees and officers may be personally liable for TCPA violations.

Those courts have ruled an employee, officer, or director may be held liable under the TCPA if that person: (1) had direct personal participation in the conduct itself; or (2) personally authorized the conduct that was found to violate the TCPA.

In the 2013 Jackson Five Star Catering Inc. v. Beason decision, a Michigan federal court ruled that an officer and owner of the company was personally liable for hiring a third party advertisement company to contact the plaintiffs on the behalf of his company. The Court recognized that many courts have found such executives could be liable "where [the officer or employee] had direct personal participation in or personally authorized the conduct found to have violated the statute." In Jackson Five, the Court concluded the owner and officer had directly participated in the unlawful conduct by paying for the unlawful fax blasts.

The degree of each individual's direct interaction will play a vital role in determining that individual's personal liability. However, courts have made it clear that where the individuals action's sufficiently constitute direct participation in the conduct or personal authorization of the conduct, the corporate veil will offer no protection.

Take care to protect yourself by: (1) checking error and omissions policies to ensure officers are covered for TCPA issues; (2) ensuring all corporate formalities are maintained so that traditional corporation protections are not lost; and (3) ensuring all policies and procedures are TCPA compliant.

[This is the 2nd of 4 articles addressing personal liability under consumer or employee protection laws. Other laws creating personal liability include the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).]

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