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SCOTUS to hear Ball State discrimination complaint

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A food service worker at Ball State University who claims that the college bears responsibility for racial discrimination by coworkers will have her case heard this month by the Supreme Court of the United States.

Maetta Vance claims she was the only African-American working in her department on the Muncie campus when some co-workers used racial epithets toward her and boasted of ties to the Ku Klux Klan, among other allegations. Her appeal alleges a hostile work environment and retaliation after she filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2006, and subsequently was issued a right-to-sue letter.

Justices in June granted certiorari in Maetta Vance v. Ball State University, 08-3568. The 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago affirmed a district court ruling in favor of Ball State. The 7th Circuit held that Vance “has not established a basis for employer liability on the hostile work environment claim or put forth sufficient facts to support her retaliation claim.”

The question before the court is whether the supervisor liability rule applies to harassment by people whom the employer authorizes to direct or oversee the victim’s daily work. Decisions from the 2nd, 4th and 9th Circuits have upheld that interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

The 1st, 7th and 8th Circuits, meanwhile, have held that such claims are limited to those who have the power to “hire, fire, demote, promote, transfer or discipline” the victim.

Oral argument is set for Tuesday, Nov. 26.
 
 

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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