Employer Law Report

Tag Archives: Vance v. Ball State University

When can an employer be found liable for ‘supervisor’ harassment?

In an opinion issued this week, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee) affirmed dismissal of a case alleging same-sex sexual harassment primarily based on the prompt and effective action taken by the employer in response to the plaintiff employee’s complaint.

Plaintiff (Hylko) and the alleged harasser (Hemphill) worked closely together at U.S. Steel. Hemphill trained Hylko and assigned his duties. Both reported to an area manager.

Hylko claimed that Hemphill harassed him as soon as they started working together, that Hemphill regularly asked Hylko about his sex life and that Hemphill grabbed …

Who Are An Employer’s Supervisors For Purposes Of Sexual Harassment Analysis?

Employer Law Report is pleased to introduce our readers to Brad Hughes, a partner in our Appellate Practice Group, who has written this guest blog article.

Next term, the Supreme Court may resolve a split among the circuits about who qualifies as a “supervisor” under Title VII, which prohibits employers from engaging in race-based discrimination. Vance v. Ball State University, Supreme Court Case No. 11-556 (certiorari materials available here on ScotusBlog).

As many readers of this blog will already know, employers can be held strictly liable for harassment inflicted by “supervisors.” But where only co-workers – not “supervisors” …