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When harassment is pervasive, chase down the root causes and fix it

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

It’s not easy managing a diverse workforce. That’s especially true when co-workers can’t seem to get along. Sadly, appealing to workers’ sense of decency will do nothing to prevent harassment lawsuits if that approach doesn’t effectively stop the harassment.

It doesn’t matter if the harassment is coming from members of the same protected group either, as this recent case shows.

Recent case: Lisa is black, with ancestral roots in the United States that go back for many generations. She took a job as a health care aid at the Mermaid Manor Home for Adults, an assisted living facility in Brooklyn.

Almost immediately, she learned that co-workers divided themselves into distinct groups based on their national origins, even though they all were black. For example, Lisa was informed that one group was the “coconuts,” an apparent reference to being black with Haitian or Jamaican national origins; in other words, immigrants from islan...(register to read more)

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