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My co-worker cussed me out and my boss did nothing about it. Is that a hostile work environment?

Posted by David P. Martin | Dec 28, 2022 | 0 Comments

My co-worker cussed me out and my boss did nothing about it. Is that a hostile work environment? It depends on many factors such as what was said, how often it was said, and whether your employer had notice or constructive notice of the conduct.

Busby v. City of Orlando, 931 F.2d 764, 785 (11th Cir. 1991) noted that “Although ‘[a]n employer is not charged by law with discharging all Archie Bunkers in its employ,' Id. (quoting Howard v. National Cash Register Co.,388 F. Supp. 603, 606 (S.D.Ohio 1975)), ‘when [the racial slurs] are so egregious, numerous, and concentrated as to add up to a campaign of harassment' the employer is ‘culpable for failing to discover what is going on and to take remedial steps.' Id. at 1422.”

If race, color, religion, sex, or national origin are involved in the profane or offensive slurs that may well violate Title 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2.  Not every episode, however, rises to that level and it may take more than one episode.

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