Employee makes outrageously bigoted comment? Treat that as an offense worthy of firing

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Here’s a cautionary tale about tolerating a racially hostile comment, yet then agreeing that the comment was outrageous. Employers can’t have it both ways. Either the comment was grounds for discharge or it wasn’t really that severe.

Recent case: Nadiya, who is black, works as a prosecutor for Denton County. A white fellow prosecutor was assigned to prosecute a black defendant for driving while intoxicated through a black cemetery, damaging a number of grave markers.

A police officer had filmed the arrest, and the prosecutor played the video in his office. It showed the black suspect making a number of racially insulting remarks to the white officer. Apparently deeply offended after watching the video, the prosecutor sought out Nadiya, with whom he had never worked on a case, and regaled her with the tape’s details. Then he added that the tape made him want “to go home and put on [my] white pointy hat.” He said he now unders...(register to read more)

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