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When slur was an isolated incident, discipline, warn not to repeat—and move on

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in Centerpiece,Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Sometimes people—including supervisors—say or do stupid and offensive things. But an employer doesn’t always have to terminate the offending employee. Imposing discipline designed to prevent a recurrence may be the best approach.

Afterward, monitor the situation to make sure no retaliation occurs.

Recent case: Kevin is of Asian origin and worked as a police officer. His supervisor at the time is white. One day, the supervisor squinted his eyes and used a mock Asian accent while speaking to another Asian-American officer in front of Kevin.

That officer filed a complaint with the police department. Kevin joined him, providing his collaborating account of the incident.

The police department investigated and placed the white supervisor on a one-week suspension. The supervisor also apologized to both Asian officers, explaining he didn’t mean to offend anyone.

Neither Kevin nor the other officer complained about any f...(register to read more)

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