When a racially hostile environment exists, there is no easy fix. A company learned the hard way that having a harassment policy, holding sensitivity training, and doling out discipline were not enough to escape liability under Title VII for racial harassment. Read on to learn from its mistakes.
Background: Back in 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Ash, et al. v. Tyson Foods that the use of the term "boy," without any racial modifiers, could be evidence of discrimination, depending on context, inflection, tone of voice, local custom, historical factors, or other factors. In the current case, white co-workers' references to two African-American employees as "boy," "hey boy," and "damn it boy" were found to be racially hostile considering the totality of the circumstances.
The two African-American employees had made numerous complaints over the course of several years regarding their co-workers' "boy" referen...(register to read more)