Meritor Savings Bank vs. Vinson APA format requires a separate cover page Case Brief Indent new paragraph 5 spacesAfter being dismissed from her job at a Meritor Savings Bank, Mechelle Vinson sued Sidney Taylor, a Vice President and branch manager of the bank and Meritor Savings Bank. Vinson charged that she had constantly been subjected to sexual harassment by Taylor over her four years at the bank.

She argued such harassment created a “hostile working environment” and was covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Vinson sought injunctive relief along with compensatory and punitive damages against Taylor and the bank. Taylor denied allegations of sexual activity and said the accusation were made over a business-related dispute. At the trial, the parties presented conflicting testimony about the existence of a sexual relationship between them.

The District Court denied relief without resolving the conflicting testimony, holding that if Mechelle and her supervisor, Taylor, did have a sexual relationship, it was voluntary and had nothing to do with her continued employment at the bank, and that therefore she was not the victim of sexual harassment. The court then went on to hold that since the bank was without notice, it could not be held liable for the supervisor’s alleged sexual harassment. Vinson appealed.

The Court of Appeals took the opposite view, noting that a violation of Title VII may be predicated on either of two types of sexual harassment (1) harassment that involves the conditioning of employment benefits on sexual favors, and (2) harassment that, while not affecting economic benefits, creates a hostile or offensive working environment. They determined this was the second type of harassment and reversed and remanded plus held that an employer, Meritor Savings Bank, is absolutely liable for sexual harassment by supervisory personnel, whether or not the employer knew or should have known about it.

The case was appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court granted certiorari (Twomey, p. 424). Agreeing to hear the case, the Supreme Court considered three questions most important: (1) is a hostile working environment created by unwelcome sexual behavior a form of employment discrimination prohibited under Title VII when no economic loss or quid pro quo harassment exists; (2) does a Title VII violation exist when the relationship is “voluntary”; and, (3) is a business liable for hostile working environment if it is not aware of the misconduct? They voted 9 votes for Vinson, 0 vote(s) against, agreeing with the Court of Appeals decision but declined to rule on the degree to which businesses could be liable for the conduct of specific employees. The Justices’ opinion was that the language of Title VII was not limited to ‘economic’ or ‘tangible’ discrimination and that Congress intended to strike at the entire spectrum of disparate treatment of men and women in employment.

Good analysis of the questions and integration of information from the text with APA citation into your analysis Questions: 1. Is the fact that the sex-related conduct by an employee and her supervisor was “voluntary” a defense to a sexual harassment charge? At first glance voluntary sex-related conduct is a viable defense for sexual harassment charges but I’m not a legal authority so I refer to our readings. –That’s correct; answers should be based on analysis of the text, not personal opinion. In the Meritor Savings Bank vs.

Vinson case the Court of Appeals held that, “Taylor made Vinson’s toleration of sexual harassment a condition of her employment,” her voluntariness “had no materiality whatsoever. ” (cite to source of quote)The Supreme Court did not agree with this deduction but decided the inquiry is whether respondent by her conduct indicated that the alleged sexual advances were unwelcome, not whether her participation in them was voluntary. Using this case as a reference I believe voluntary sex-related conduct was a defense to a sexual harassment charge. In 1980 the U. S.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued guidelines declaring sexual harassment a violation of Section 703 of Title VII, establishing criteria for determining when unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment. The Guidelines provide that “unwelcome” sexual conduct constitutes sexual harassment when “submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, “Quid pro quo harassment” occurs when “submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual (http://www. eoc. gov /policy/docs/currentissues. html). citations must follow APA format This EEOC guideline declaring sexual harassment a violation of Section 703 of Title VII, establishing criteria for determining when unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment so my final answer is no it is not a viable defense. Great job conducting additional research on this issue. 2. Was it proper for trial court to consider evidence of sexually provocative speech and dress on part of the compliant in a sexual harassment suit?

Sexually provocative speech and dress should be considered as part of evidence at trial in a sexual harassment suit. The EEOC guidelines emphasize that the trier of fact must determine the existence of sexual harassment in light “of the record as a whole” and “the totality of circumstances, such as the nature of the sexual advances and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred” (Twomey, p. 425) 3. Did Taylor in fact make unwelcome sexual advances to Vinson? There is no proof of fact that Taylor made unwelcome sexual advances toward Vinson in my opinion.

Taylor and Vinson had sexual encounters over 40 times over a 3 year period according to Vinson’s testimony and they stopped when she became involved with another man. It looks like 2 consenting adults who stopped their affair when she found another male interest. Vinson appears to be fine with the relationship with Taylor as long as she was getting promoted from teller to vice president of the branch and the claim of unwelcome sexual advances did not occur until she lost her job. . What is wrong with the bank’s nondiscrimination policy and grievance procedures? In this case the bank’s nondiscrimination policy and grievance procedures were flawed. The nondiscrimination policy did not address sexual harassment in particular, and thus did not alert employees to their employer’s interest in correcting that form of discrimination. The bank’s grievance procedures flaw was it required the employee to complain first to their supervisor.

In this case the supervisor was the alleged perpetrator and the policy had no alternative procedure for the employee to file grievance. Good insight on this question. Good analysis of the questions and integration of information from the text with APA citation into your analysis Further readings: http://caselaw. lp. findlaw. com/cgi-bin/getcase. pl? court=us=477=57; http://www. eeoc. gov/policy/docs/currentissues. html; http://www. enotes. com/supreme-court-drama/meritor-savings-bank-v-vinson; http://www. gale. engage. com/free_resources/whm/trials/vinson. htm; Works cited: citations must follow APA format Twomey, D. P. , Labor & Employment Law, 11th Edition Text and Cases, 2001, International Thomson Publishing http://www. eeoc. gov/policy/docs/currentissues. html Comments: Excellent work; this case meets most of the requirements for this assignment. The requirements state: “Provide a 1 paragraph summary of the case and answer the case questions. Your answers to the questions must reference the facts and legal analysis from the case.

You must follow all formal writing requirements when submitting a case study, including correct APA style and citation formatting requirements. ” This is a well-written case in APA format. The case summary is written in your own words and contains a good analysis of the court’s reasoning in the case. Your answers to the questions contain a detailed analysis of the issues with citation to material from the text and the course to support your responses. Proofread carefully. See my comments in the paper for more specific feedback. Keep up the good work! Grade: 5. 5/6