Vance v. Ball State Univ., 133 S.Ct. 2434 (2013)
The issue, in this case, is whether the Ball State University was liable for workplace
harassment against the petitioner Vance. That the petitioner Vance, who was an African
American woman, sued her employer the Ball State University. She sued the university since her
fellow employee Saundra Davis had allegedly created a hostile working environment that was
racially violent and was in violation of Title VII.
This case applies Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964, where an employer’s liability for
workplace harassment depends on the status of the harasser. In this case, if the harassing
employee and the victim are coworkers, the employer is liable only if he was negligent in
controlling the working conditions. The rules are different when the harasser is a supervisor. If
the supervisor’s harassment leads to a tangible employment action, the employer is liable, but if
there is no concrete action, the employer cannot be responsible. The employer can escape
liability by establishing a defense in that he, (the employer) had exercised reasonable care to
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