Can There Be A Much Worse Case Of Race And National Origin Harassment?

Short answer:  I suppose so.  But this is pretty bad.

Shield, Prohibitory, Note, Ban, Sign

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?

In any case, if I indeed was asleep, a newly announced settlement by the EEOC of a race, national origin, and retaliation case just woke me with a startling jolt.  And there are more to write about soon…

It seems that a white manager harassed a Filipino-American laborer who was employed by a North Dakota oilfield service company – using as foul and racist language as I’ve seen – at least in a while.    And I’ve posted about some nasty workplace harassment cases.

According to the EEOC, shortly after he began working, the employee “was harassed by a white manager because of his race and national origin. The harassment included the manager calling Clark a “non-white m—-f—-r,” “non-white guy,” “spic,” “n—-r,” “monkey” and “ape.” On one occasion, the manager urinated on Clark’s legs as he worked under a truck in the shop.”

Moreover, the employee’s supervisor witnessed this harassment but took no action.   When the employee complained to the safety manager of the company, he was fired.

Readers may recognize some of the same language and racial tropes that have been directed at African-American employees in the many cases that I have reported about.   Seems like the only thing missing is the ever-ready-to-be-displayed noose.

The settlement was embodied in a two year consent decree which, among other relief, awarded the employee $250,000. An EEOC lawyer said about the consent decree that it “provides important training to managers and supervisors on their responsibilities to report and take appropriate action when they witness or receive discrimination complaints. They cannot simply ignore harassment and fire employees who complain about being abused rather than doing something about it.”

Takeaway:  Don’t sleep for too long – you may miss the bigotry that is, unfortunately, out there in some workplaces.



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Richard Cohen

Richard B. Cohen is a partner in the New York City office of FisherBroyles, LLP, a national law firm. Richard Cohen has litigated and arbitrated complex corporate, commercial and employment disputes for more than 35 years, and is a trusted advisor to business owners and in-house counsel both in the United States and internationally. His clients have included Fortune 100 companies, domestic and foreign commercial and investment banks, Pacific-rim corporations and real estate development companies, as well as start-up businesses throughout the United States. Email Richard at [email protected]