Typically when someone brings a racial discrimination case, harassment must be severe and “pervasive” enough to create a hostile work environment. However, even a single incident of severe harassment can sometimes create a hostile work environment resulting in a Title VII claim of workplace discrimination.
To demonstrate the point, the U.S. 5th Circuit recently ruled that a single incident involving a racial slur did in fact create a hostile work environment due to the totality of circumstances. The case involved a supervisor making a particularly egregious racial slur in the presence of other employees leading the court to conclude that, “perhaps no single act can more quickly alter the conditions of employment and create an abusive working environment’ than the use of an unambiguously racial epithet by a supervisor in the presence of his subordinates”.
Although the employee did not allege he was subject to harassment by the supervisor day in and day out, the severe nature of what was said on the single occasion in the presence of fellow employees, was enough to create a hostile work environment and therefore the employee was able to move forward with a Title VII workplace discrimination case. If you are a victim of workplace discrimination, it is important to seek help.
Contact an Iowa Employment Discrimination Attorney for Justice
If you have been subjected to racial discrimination, disability discrimination or any other form of unlawful employment discrimination, call 515-331-3510 or contact Des Moines employment discrimination attorney Marc A. Humphrey for a free confidential consultation.