Will Supreme Court strengthen or weaken harassment protections?

We’re in a university setting here, so let me give you a university hypo. There’s a professor, and the professor has a secretary. And the professor subjects that secretary to living hell, complete hostile work environment on the basis of sex, all right? But the professor has absolutely no authority to fire the secretary. What would the Seventh Circuit say about that situation? [Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan] Would the Professor be considered the Secretary‘s supervisor in an harassment case — making the employer liable for his actions? I’ll give you the short answer offered up by the Obama… Read More

Are Companies Liable When Supervisors Harass Employees? Ask the Supreme Court

Maetta Vance was working at Ball State University when she was harassed by another employee who Vance alleged had the authority to tell her what to do and how to clock her hours. After filing repeated complaints, Vance sued the university for violating Title VII. The university argued that it could not be held liable because Vance’s harasser did not have the power to hire, fire, demote, promote, transfer or discipline her. Lower courts agreed. Vance appealed to the Supreme Court. [ Announcement of Friend of Court Brief filed by National Partnership… Read More

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