Meritor Savings Bank V. Vinson

Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson
Supreme Court of the United States, 477 U.S. 57 (1986).
Case Summary
In 1974, Michelle Vinson was hired by Sidney Taylor, the vice president and to keep her job, though she admits this was not directly verbalized by Taylor. The forms of sexual harassment Vinson claimed was Taylor’s insistence in asked her out to dinner, the proposition of sex which lead to over forty occasions of sexual relations; he fondled her in front of employees, exposed himself to her, followed her into the women’s bathroom, and raped her several times (“Meritor Savings Bank,” 2003). It was Vinson’s assertion that these behaviors exhibited by Taylor created a hostile work environment and sexual discrimination, which she cited fell under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Coming forward much sooner to report these various forms of sexual harassment, according to Vinson, was not an option mainly due to her fear of retaliation and/or losing her job. Taylor, on the other hand, held steadfast to his defense stating there was no sexual harassment involved, nor had there been sexual relations, thus having no bearings on her employment status. The bank also held the position they had no knowledge of any allegations of sexual harassment, and therefore should not be held liable, especially considering the fact that policies were in place along with an internal grievance procedure Vinson could have used but failed to use.
History of Court Decision
The district court, in 1980, surmised that if there had been any sexual relations or sexual relationship between Vinson and Taylor during her length of employment, it was of voluntary nature and therefore she was not a victim of sexual harassment or sexual discrimination. In this, the district court held the position that Title VII had not been violated from the sexual harassment standpoint, and due to Meritor Savings Bank having an anti-discrimination policy and proper protocol procedures to...