Bloomberg Law
June 24, 2013, 4:00 AM

Justices Rule 5-4 That Title VII ‘Supervisors’
Must Have Power to Take Tangible Actions

A “supervisor” for vicarious liability purposes under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act is an employee authorized by an employer to take tangible employment actions against another worker, the U.S. Supreme Court held 5-4 on June 24 (Vance v. Ball State Univ., U.S., 11-556, 6/24/13).

Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito found that a Title VII “supervisor” must have the power to make a “significant change” in another worker’s employment status, such as through hiring, firing, failing to promote, reassigning with “significantly different responsibilities,” or causing a “significant change in benefits.”

In so ruling, ...