Sexual Harassment and the Law: The Mechelle Vinson Case

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Title Vll of the 1964 Civil Rights Act may have outlawed sex discrimination, but it did not address the sexual harassment of women in the workplace--behavior that courts did not deem illegal until well into the era of the modern civil rights and women's movements. Mechelle Vinson's lawsuit against her employer, "Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson (1986), changed all of that. Adopting the legal theory pioneered by feminist Catharine MacKinnon that sexual harassment was indeed discriminatory, the Supreme Court's opinion, authored by one of the most conservative justices, brought the problem of sexual harassment into the spotlight and placed power relations between men and women at work squarely on the public agenda. Plaintiff Vinson claimed that she had submitted to the unwanted sexual advances of her supervisor in order to hold onto her job. Although her supervisor denied her charges and the bank he worked for disavowed any knowledge of misbehavior, her suit finally reached the Supreme Court after six years of litigation, where a unanimous Court determined that the creation of a "hostile work environment" through sexual harassment was a form of sex discrimination--and that such harassment could be actionable even without economic injury to the plaintiff. Augustus Cochran reexamines the origins, contexts, and impact of this landmark decision and introduces readers to the main actors in the drama: bank teller Vinson, her boss and alleged harasser, and a changing cast of jurists. Cochran traces the case from the lower court's ruling in favor of the bank through the appellate stage overturning that ruling to the Supreme Court's holding that sexual harassment violates Title VII. He analyzes thedecision's contentious legacy, charting the course of issues raised in the case--hostile environment, unwelcomeness, employer liability--as they have played out in later cases. He also examines new and related legal developments since 1986 and explores the opinions of those
Autor: Augustus B. III Cochran
Augustus B. Cochran III is professor of political science at Agnes Scott College and is associated with the Atlanta law firm of Stanford Fagan. He is the author of Democracy Heading South: National Politics in the Shadow of Dixie, published recently by Kansas.

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Autor: Augustus B. III Cochran
ISBN-13 :: 9780700613236
ISBN: 0700613234
Erscheinungsjahr: 01.04.2004
Verlag: UNIV PR OF KANSAS
Gewicht: 313g
Seiten: 227
Sprache: Englisch
Sonstiges: Taschenbuch, 216x149x19 mm
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