A civil engineer has lost a discrimination case in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals after it determined racial slurs weren’t used frequently enough to fall under Title VII and that his manager “making faces” was not retaliation. According to this HR Drive article by Katie Clarey, the employee in question and another Black employee were repeatedly called “boy” by their manager and experienced retaliation from said manager after bringing it up.
The Court determined the alleged retaliation, which consisted of the manager making faces at the employee, did not constitute retaliation. The article states, “Harassment becomes unlawful when it is severe or so pervasive that it renders a workplace ‘intimidating, hostile or abusive,’ EEOC says.” In this particular case, though the Court acknowledged the behaviors were horrible, they did not fall into the former description of harassment.
First Response recognizes the absolute importance of a professional and supportive work environment. Between clear expectations and established procedures for employee complaints, we are here to help you create a healthy and inclusive workplace culture. You’ll receive an HR Advisor and an employee hotline that will guide you as you build your company’s culture through our services.