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Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson (1986) was the first case wherein the U.S. Supreme Court addressed sexual harassment in the workplace under Title VII. Although Meritor did not occur in a school context, it should be of interest to educators at all levels, because the Court established criteria for judging claims that relate to a hostile work environment.

Facts of the Case

Michelle Vinson began working for Meritor Savings Bank in 1974 as atelier-trainee. Her immediate supervisor, Sidney Taylor, was a vice president of the bank. Over the next four years, Vinson was promoted to teller, head teller, and then assistant branch manager. It was undisputed that her promotions were based on merit alone. In 1978, Vinson's employment was terminated for excessive use of sick leave. ...

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