Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Supreme Court Considers Who is a Supervisor – Title VII

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that has drawn the attention of employers and lawyers alike. The question posed to the Court in Vance v. Ball State University (petition for a writ of certiori available here), focuses on when an employee is considered a supervisor under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The classification of an employee as a supervisor under Title VII is particularly important in light of the fact that the Supreme Court has held that an employer may be liable for the Title VII violations of its supervisors whether or not it was aware of such violations because of the inherent authority and power supervisors usually have. However the case is decided, it is likely to have a significant impact on employer liability for the discriminatory acts of an employee.