Sometimes it just seems like good old-fashioned ribbing between co-workers. But when does insensitive teasing turn into an illegal hostile work environment that violates Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act? One court said that while individual incidents may be viewed as singular events, courts will view all incidents “as a whole” when deciding if they add up to unlawful harassment.
Case in Point: Gloria Nieves was of Colombian origin and worked at a deli in Delaware. Her co-workers ridiculed her because of her limited English skills. They suggested that she knew a lot about drugs because she was from Colombia. They frequently joked about the status of her green card. She was allegedly called “stupid” by a co-worker. Another co-worker admitted that Nieves was called racial slurs behind her back and given the nickname of “Chihuahua.”
While Nieves complained to her managers, they took no act...(register to read more)