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Offended employee must report ongoing harassment

by on
in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Employers that discipline employees who make racially offensive comments have done what’s required of them. Unless they hear about a recurrence, it’s safe to assume the problem was solved.

Recent case: Leslie, who is black, complained that a co-worker made offensive racial comments. The co-worker was disciplined. Later, Leslie was fired for arguing after she bumped into another employee.

She sued, alleging that the co-worker who had been disciplined never stopped making racial slurs.

But since Leslie never reported the continued behavior, the employer wasn’t held responsible. (Harrison v. Southeastern Radiology, No. 1:10-CV-605, MD NC, 2013)

Final note: In situations like this, regularly ask the offended employee if she has experienced more probl­­ems. Document her response. That makes for an even faster end to litigation.

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