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Vance v. Ball State University - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 9-4-13 featuring Jason Schwartz

September 4, 2013

Jason Schwartz

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Vance v. Ball State University - Post-Decision SCOTUScast - MP3
Running Time: 00:15:49

Jason SchwartzOn June 24, 2013, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Vance v. Ball State University. This case involves Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (a federal anti-discrimination law), and revisits the circumstances under which an employer may be held liable for harassment by its supervisory employees: If the alleged harasser had the authority to direct and oversee the work of the plaintiff--but did not actually have the power to terminate her employment or discipline her formally--can the employer nevertheless be held vicariously liable for the alleged harasser’s misdeeds?

In an opinion delivered by Justice Alito, the Court held by a vote of 5-4 that an employee is a “supervisor” for purposes of vicarious liability under Title VII only if he or she is empowered by the employer to take tangible employment actions against the victim. Chief Justice Roberts as well as Justices Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas joined the opinion of the Court. Justice Thomas filed a concurring opinion. Justice Ginsburg filed a dissenting opinion, which was joined by Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan.

To discuss the case, we have Jason Schwartz, who is a Partner in the Washington, DC office of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher.

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Related Links

Vance v. Ball State University - Post-Argument SCOTUScast
Opinion - June 25, 2013 (PDF)
Oral Argument Transcript - November 26, 2012 (PDF)

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