Just when we thought that maybe the N-word — just maybe — had been consigned to the dustbin of employment law history, three new EEOC lawsuits were filed this week in which this word was used against black employees. See yesterday’s post for a description of the first such suit, and one court’s holding that using the N-word once does not make out a claim for racial harassment.
In a second suit, the EEOC clams that a member of a Huddle House restaurant management team subjected one of its female shift leaders in Arkansas to racially offensive language, such as “ghetto,” “hood,” “hood rat,” “Huddle ho’s” and — the “N-word.”
And in a third suit, the EEOC alleged that the general manager of an Ohio management company subjected a class of employees to a racially hostile environment, and retaliated against an employee for complaining.
The EEOC claims that the general manager “frequently called black employees names such as “n—-r”, “ho’,” and “black bitch,” and deprived African-American employees of equal terms and conditions of employment, such as regularly allowing white employees more breaks than black employees and disciplining blacks for coming in late while relaxing the same rules for whites.”
As we have noted before, whenever offensive racial slurs are uttered in the workplace against black employees, its seems that the N-word is always among the slurs. Always.
An EEOC attorney said that “We recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, yet employees continue to fight for dignity and respect in the workplace. Employees should not have to endure a racially hostile work environment to earn a living. The EEOC remains committed to eradicating discrimination in the workplace.”
Fifty years later — when will it end? What will it take?