The Vinson case, recently decided by the United States Supreme Court, clarified the legal standards to be applied to sexual harassment cases. This decision has broad implications for arbitration decisions with respect to credibility, the degree to which the conduct must be offensive to be actionable, and the responsibility of employers in harassment cases.
According to the rationale in Vinson, the conduct of the grievant would be a relevant factor to consider. As to degree, the implication is that the conduct must be "severe or pervasive," in addition to being "unwelcome." Finally, while the Court seems to have backed away from strict liability, the question to be determined factually is, what are the minimum and maximum actions the employer may take.