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Court: Supervisors must be able to hire and fire

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court says people must be able to hire and fire people to be considered a supervisor in a discrimination lawsuit.

The justices made the 5-4 ruling on Monday as it threw out Maetta Vance's appeal.

At issue was whether to be considered a supervisor, a person must be able to hire and fire people.

That's what the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said while hearing a complaint from Vance, who says she was racially harassed. Vance, a Ball State University caterer, says her tormentor was a supervisor, making the university liable. But the lower courts said that since the woman could not fire Vance, she was only a co-worker, and threw out the case.

The high court upheld that decision.