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Supreme Court rejects EEOC’s broad definition of ‘supervisor’

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

In a major victory for employers, the Supreme Court in June ruled that, in Title VII cases, only someone with the power to take “tangible employment action” can be considered a supervisor. The Court’s decision in Vance v. Ball State will make it harder for employees to sue for supervisor bias, a claim that carries strict employer liability.

THE LAW: Most federal discrimination laws require employers to prevent or stop discrimination by supervisors. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the ADA all bar discrimination and harassment by supervisors.

EEOC guidance states that supervisors are “anyone with authority to take tangible employment actions or direct the employee’s daily activities.” Many courts have limited the definition to those who can take tangible employment actions such as hiring, firing or promoting employees.

WHAT’S NEW: Maetta Vance, who is black, worked as a catering...(register to read more)

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