It is generally agreed that anti-discrimination laws don’t create a general code requiring workplace civility. Employees are expected to put up with the usual tribulations of the workplace—the sporadic use of course language, offhand comments or jokes, occasional teasing, petty slights, minor annoyances and the simple lack of good manners.
Harassment lawsuits won’t normally fly unless the abuse is objectively and subjectively severe or pervasive enough to alter the terms and conditions of one’s employment.
A recent case, Williams v. CSX Transp. Co. (No. 09-5564, 6th Cir., 2011), illustrates these principles in action.
In that case, the federal 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of a racial harassment claim, confirming the long-standing principle that the anti-discrimination laws are not codes of workplace civility.
Black, white, blue, red
The harassment allegations in the lawsuit focused on a two-day period in...(register to read more)