In a case that has simple yet profound lessons for employers, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an employer wasn’t liable for co-worker harassment—all because the company acted fast and effectively when it discovered the harassment.
It investigated the allegations, made sure the harassed employee had many chances to complain and repeatedly reinforced its anti-harassment policy.
Noose in the workplace
Tremeyne Porter was placed by Burton Placement Services as a temporary employee at Erie Foods International Inc.’s Rochelle, Ill., food production facility. Porter was the sole black employee working the third shift. One evening, a co-worker led Porter to a production area, where a noose made out of white rope was hanging on a piece of machinery. Another co-worker was standing under the noose, allegedly smiling.
Later that night, Porter’s supervisor discovered the noose and took it into her office. Then ...(register to read more)