Vance v. Ball State University
Court: U.S. Supreme Court
Term: October 2012
Oral Argument: November 2012
Opinion: Justice Alito
Lower Court: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
Whether, as the Second, Fourth, and Ninth Circuits have held, the Faragher and Ellerth "supervisor" liability rule:
I. applies to harassment by those whom the employer vests with authority to direct and oversee their victim's daily work, or, as the First, Seventh, and Eighth Circuits have held
II. is limited to those harassers who have the power to "hire, fire, demote, promote, transfer, or discipline" their victim.
The RLC joined another trade association in a brief supporting the bright line "power to hire/fire" standard used by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to distinguish those employees who are sufficiently representative of an employer that their actions may impute liability to the employer in the Title VII context.
The Court affirmed the 7th Circuit's decision and held that under Title VII, a "supervisor," for purposes of imputing liability to the employer, is defined as an employee who has the "power to hire/fire."
Procedural History and Case Documents: