If You Read This Blog You Can Probably Make A Good Guess As To What the Racial Epithet Was

The EEOC just sued a large health organization for alleged racial harassment and retaliation against African American employees in its California facility, contending that “such harassment was perpetrated by co-workers, supervisors, and managers, and included daily use of racial epithets, degrading racial comments and racially derogatory graffiti.”

The EEOC, uncharacteristically, did not say what the racial epithets were.  Or the racially derogatory graffiti.  But if you have read this blog and I gave you three guesses…. 

The EEOC regional attorney correctly said that “The EEOC continues to see too many complaints of harassment in the workplace.”

Or as I put it in a post title  last year: Nooses And the N-Word At Work: Same As It Ever Was.

“It is extraordinary,” I wrote some years ago, “that the ‘N-word’ and the noose keep reappearing in lawsuits claiming a racially harassing workplace.”  This would be my guess as to the new lawsuit.

And that “More than 50 years after the Civil Rights Acts were passed, racism continues in the society at large, and in the workplace in particular.”

“I continue to post,” I wrote last year:

“about every workplace racial harassment case that I see where the N-word or a noose is involved, hoping to impress upon employers the seriousness of this, and the necessity of taking action to prevent it: for everyone involved. It doesn’t seem to sink in.”

The workplace, being a microcosm of the real world, is it any wonder that it echoes the roiling waters of the American landscape which has existed for generations?

Employers must insure that this does not occur – and that if a complaint is made that it is expeditiously investigated and remedied.

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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]