The EEOC, which sued a New York-based company in South Carolina alleging racial harassment and retaliation, has just announced the settlement of the case for $40,000.
As readers know I’ve focused many posts particularly on certain different types of employment discrimination cases – one category of which involves racial slurs and a hostile workplace. Perhaps these types of cases are bellwethers or predictors of trends — perhaps not.
Anyway, on June 1st I noted that “It’s been awhile since any of my posts dealt with acts of vulgar racial or other epithets directed at employees. Is that because such cases are becoming less frequent? Or is there some other reason – have I been asleep?”
Well, as the June 1st post proved, with the settlement of a particularly brutal case, these types of cases – or employers – may simply have been resting up for a new round – like locust.
This new settlement followed the typical pattern: plaintiff was “repeatedly subjected to unwelcome derogatory racial comments and slurs made by a white coworker, including repeated use of the ‘N’ word.” Despite complaining to management many times, these acts continued and plaintiff was eventually fired.
The “N-word” is ubiquitous in these case; the only element missing here from the racial harassment cases which I typically see is the racially-freighted noose hanging from the employee’s locker or somewhere else in the workplace.
Some things never seem to change. Maybe they are just becoming less frequent?