Employer Didn’t Act to Stop Ongoing Harassment of Black Employee, EEOC Charges in Title VII Suit

As 2016 leave us, persistent problems in the workplace don’t.

One of these is racial harassment.

The following is a case of harassment that went on for two years until the victim, fed up with management’s lack of response, up and quit.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a black employee, Paul Bowman, was subjected almost daily to a racially hostile work environment at Hiatt & Mason Enterprises, Inc., a structural steel erection services company in Mount Airy, North Carolina.

Starting in March 2014,the EEOC alleges,  Bowman’s white foreman and some of his co-workers subjected him to racial harassment for almost two years. The alleged misconduct included daily or almost daily use of the “N-word” and other racial epithets, as well as racial jokes about blacks. On more than one occasion, Bowman was threatened physically by one of the co-workers who engaged in racist name calling.

The complaint further charged that the company’s equal employment opportunity officer witnessed at least one of the incidents of harassment and received complaints about some of the abuse, but took no action to stop it. Bowman left the company around March 2016.”Employers must take appropriate action to stop employees’ use of racial slurs in the workplace,” said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for EEOC’s Charlotte District Office.

Read more about the EEOC’s lawsuit filed on Dec. 21 here.


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