In This Issue:
- A New Supreme Court Decision Helps Employers in Harassment Cases
- Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Says Nursing Home RNs Are Supervisors
- A New Heightened Standard For Title VII Retaliation Claims
- Excerpt from A New Supreme Court Decision Helps Employers in Harassment Cases:
The United States Supreme Court’s decision in Vance v. Ball State just made it easier for employers to defend against some Title VII harassment lawsuits. In a 5-4 decision, the Court rejected the harassment claims brought by a catering assistant employed at an Indiana university because the alleged harasser did not have enough authority over the plaintiff to be considered her supervisor. By narrowing the definition of “supervisor,” plaintiffs will likely find it more difficult to prove harassment claims.
The Facts in Vance -
Plaintiff Maetta Vance worked for Ball State University’s Banquet and Catering Department for over 15 years. General Manager Bill Kimes was Vance’s direct supervisor. Vance complained in 2005 that she had been threatened by catering specialist Saundra Davis, and that another employee, Connie McVicker, had called her racial slurs. Ball State investigated and gave McVicker a written warning, but because Ball State received conflicting accounts of the incident with Davis, it decided to counsel both employees regarding their behavior.
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