As you may recall from Tuesday’s blog post, the Supreme Court’s ruling on the discrimination case hinged on the definition of the term supervisor.
Many who criticized the ruling in favor of the employer believe that the court’s majority misinterpreted the meaning of the word supervisor. While many supervisors are not given the authority to hire and terminate employees, they still maintain a strong level of management and can have plenty of influence on employees’ overall experience in the workplace. The critics believe that the decision will make it more difficult to prove discrimination and cause many employees to have to endure unfair practices in the work environment. Both decisions reject the legal perspective put forth by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission intended to provide employees with an unbiased work environment.
Those on the side of the employers, however, believe that the ruling will make the issue clearer for both employees and employers and that it will alleviate the problem of employers having to pay to settle discrimination lawsuits that are unfounded.
In some places lower courts have cases still subject to appeal that could be reconsidered given the new rulings.
Whether the Supreme Court’s decision is viewed as good or bad for the future of employment law, it will certainly make it more difficult for workers to sue their employers based on discrimination.
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