August 25, 2021

Don’t Fast Forward To Reverse Discrimination

Sometimes the law considers inaction to be an act or decision to do nothing. That can land you in hot water. Such may have been the case for an employer whom the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EOC) reports failed to act when three white women reported they were being racially harassed by a black coworker.

The charge alleges a black female employee “referred to the white employees in racially derogatory terms, routinely chastised them and interfered with their ability to perform their jobs.” When nothing was done, the conduct escalated, and one employee quit her job as a result (aka constructive discharge). Now, the EEOC is seeking monetary relief including compensatory and punitive damages and injunctive relief against the company.

Lessons learned. Representatives from the EEOC remind us in a press release:

  • “An employer violates federal law when it fails to take action to remedy race-based harassment in the workplace.”
  • “Title VII protects employees of all races and guarantees them the right to work in an environment that is free from racial harassment and hostility.” (emphasis added)
  • All employees deserve and should expect a workplace that is free of racial harassment.” (emphasis added)