Steven Bell worked at a state prison with a co-worker who often hurled racial epithets at him, calling him "cracker" and "white boy." Bell is Filipino and his harasser is African-American. Bell repeatedly complained, but his supervisors only told the harasser to stop, then changed Bell's shift to limit their contact. The harasser was never disciplined. Bell sued, and a federal court let his claim of a hostile work environment proceed. Two lessons: Any race-based harassment, even between minorities, is illegal. Also, you have to give more than lip service to protect workers from harassment. (Bell v. Maryland, No. CCB-99-451, D. Md., 2001)
Get weekly updates on breaking news and business advice to help you advance your career! The week's top stories and resources will be sent right to your inbox. Choose the topics you're interested in:
We value your Privacy.