Apparently, word hasn’t spread far enough that racial and ethnic-based harassment in the workplace is unacceptable, and the bad behavior continues.
“It seems that racial harassment cases always have the same racial slurs and tropes: either the N-word, a noose, or both – always – although KKK hoods are becoming popular these days,” notes attorney Richard B. Cohen of the FisherBroyles law firm.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently stressed, “Despite the progress we have seen over the last half century, racial harassment continues to occur in too many American workplaces.”
In recent cases several employers who should have known better were charged with failing to discipline employees who not only harassed African-Americans, but Hispanics as well.
A forklift services company in California was sued because its employees allegedly “engaged in constant harassment of Hispanic employees, including the use of derogatory slurs and mocking of employees’ accents.”
EEOC notes, “National origin harassment in the workplace can take many different forms, including ethnic slurs and offensive conduct based on an employee’s accent.”
In all these kinds of cases, EEOC says, “Such misconduct is harmful and unacceptable. Employers must ensure that employees who violate the company’s anti-harassment policies are held accountable for their actions.”
“These are just a few of the many cases that keep flowing into our courts,” Cohen says. Many of them also involve employers who condone the unacceptable conduct, which is often perpetrated by supervisors, and who even took disciplinary actions against the victims.
It is the seemingly never-ending flow of such cases that shocks Cohen and other employer attorneys. “Unfortunately, it looks like I will be writing about these cases for a long time,” he says.