In a recent race harassment lawsuit, a federal district court determined that a supervisor’s single use of the “n” word was sufficient to constitute a hostile work environment, and allowed he race discrimination case to proceed.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes race discrimination/race harassment illegal. Further, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), “[h]arassment becomes unlawful where 1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or 2) the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.
If you have been subjected to race or color discrimination, you may be entitled to reinstatement (if you’ve lost your job), front and back pay, emotional distress and other compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees.
In this instance, Castlebury v, STI Group, the court determined that the proper standard for determining whether a hostile work environment exists is whether the discrimination is either severe or pervasive. It need not be both. In support of its position, the court noted that other federal courts of appeal have determined that isolated incidents of harassment or discrimination may be sufficient to create a hostile work environment. Here, the supervisor used racial slurs in front of two African-American workers, along with their non-African-American co-workers, and threatened termination.
The workers also asserted other instances where they were subjected to racially discriminatory comments.
The court determined that such actions were sufficient to state a case that a racially hostile environment existed.
For more information, or if you have been subjected to any form of employment discrimination, please contact the experienced Atlanta race discrimination lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.