What should you do if you receive reports that a manager has uttered offensive slurs? A quick investigation is in order. If the report is true, punish the manager. That may mitigate any damage if the affected employees don’t suffer an adverse employment action like discharge, denial of a promotion or a demotion.
Recent case: Peter, an equipment operator for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, complained after a garage manager referred to Peter as “a f***ing spic” and suggested he go “back where he came from.” The department investigated and suspended the garage manager.
Peter still sued, alleging a hostile work environment. But since he hadn’t been fired, demoted or otherwise harmed—and since the manager had been punished—Peter had no case. (Fred v. Commonwealth, No. 3:12-CV-2480, MD PA 2015)
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