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Do slurs and work discrimination merit employment litigation?

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) protects Connecticut employees from discrimination on the job. Most acts of discrimination are obvious. However, some are far more subtle, which, nevertheless, become the subject of employment litigation.

Slurs fall under the discrimination heading

Employers are already on notice that they may not make racial slurs when addressing workers or talking about them to others. Similarly, they cannot ignore it if others in the workplace are doing it.

However, there is a fine line when people assert they are teasing but actually are using slurs against someone. Examples include not just racial slurs, but also anti-gay epithets or gender-driven jokes. When these take place, a worker has the right to object and inform management of the need to intervene.

When management does not intervene, litigation may be needed

Typically, employment litigation deals with discrimination based on age, gender, race, disability or sexual preference. While a company’s management team must intervene when this happens, there are times when it fails to do so.

In some cases, this team may actually become complicit. This may take the form of retaliation. A manager may reduce a complaining worker’s hours. In other cases, the environment becomes so toxic that the employee has to quit.

What litigation may look like

There are times when you may undergo mediation first. The goal is to make a positive change in the workplace possible. This frequently involves retraining of management staff members and, perhaps, moving the employee to a different location. When the situation has become too toxic to continue, a lawsuit may be the next step. It typically empowers the discriminated-against employee to receive financial compensation.