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Top Race Discrimination Lawyer Rely: My Boss Called Me A “Nigger” and “Porch Monkey.” What Should I Do?

On Behalf of | Jun 30, 2014 | Employment Discrimination, Race Discrimination, Wrongful Termination |

Best Ohio Race Discrimination Attorney Answer: What should I do if my boss is a racist? Can I get my employer to stop co-workers from calling me “boy” and other racial slurs? What should I do if I was fired for reporting race discrimination? How do I find the best wrongful termination lawyers in Ohio?

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Most people know that it is unlawful to harass, discriminate or retaliate against employees based on their race. These laws are found in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Ohio’s R.C. § 4112.99. Our employment discrimination lawyers regularly blogged on race discrimination issues. We posted a race discrimination blog about the holding in Ayissi-Etoh v. Fannie Mae, et al. that “no single act can more quickly alter the conditions of employment” than “the use of an unambiguously racial epithet such as ‘nigger’ by a supervisor.” Our employment attorneys have blogged that it is not a viable defense to argue that “nigger” was being used by the boss a term of endearment; and that even employers cannot avoid liability for race discrimination simply because the boss using the N-word was Black.

But, a recent case takes the cake. The facts of this provide a check list of inappropriate behavior. According to the facts alleged in a race discrimination lawsuit:

1. The boss called the two Black employees “nigger”;

2. The boss called the two Black employees “boy”;

3. The boss called the two Black employees that they were the “token Blacks”;

4. The boss told the two Black employees “porch monkey”;

5. The boss told the two Black employees, “Don’t find a noose with your name on it;”

6. The boss talked about having some of his “friends” visit the Black employees in the middle of the night;

7. The company allowed a co-worker to hand the Black employee a noose and say, “This is for you. Do you want to hang from the family tree?”;

8. The company allowed a co-worker to ask Black employees to be the “coon” in their “coon hunt”;

9. The company allowed its White employees to open display the confederate flag;

10. When the African American employees complained to the owners, nothing was done and the harassment got worse; and

11. When the African American employees filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), the company wrongfully fired them.

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Where did this happen? A.C. Widenhouse employed Contonius Gill and Robert Floyd, Jr., both African-Americans, as truck drivers. According to the race discrimination lawsuit, for over a year, A.C. Widenhouse’s general manager repeatedly subjected to these obviously unwelcome derogatory racial comments and slurs. Because the general manager set the tone of what was acceptable these racial slurs permeated the entire facility and were made by White dispatcher, mechanics and other truck drivers.

Amazingly, given these facts, the employer refused to settle and the case went to a jury, who early this year, returned a unanimous verdict for the employees. The jury specifically found that both employees had been harassed because of their race, and that Gill had been fired because of his race and in retaliation for complaining about racial harassment. So what is a case like this worth? On Feb. 22, 2013, the court entered a judgment for $50,000 in compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of Floyd, and that Gill should recover $193,509 in compensatory and punitive damages, back pay, and pre-judgment interest. The trial court also awarded attorney fees to the plaintiff employees’ attorneys.

Right now, you are probably thinking, “Whaaaaat?!?” Yes, this seems very low for such vile conduct. But, the vile conduct goes to prove liability, and then the damages are determined based on the actual lost wages and other compensatory damages. Punitive damages, while considering the conduct, are also based on the financial capacity of the defendant as such damages are intended to punish the company to prevent future conduct, and not put the company out of business. As such, given the same conduct, a punitive damage award will be much lower for a small local business than a fortune 500 company.

So, you think that the racist employer got away with one her at having to pay only about $250,000? The employer did not and the employer appealed seeking a new trial to try and avoid judgment or get a lower verdict. But, just last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit rejected the appeal and upheld the race discrimination verdict: “Widenhouse had not shown that it would have terminated Gill for other reasons, even though his race and/or his protected opposition was a motivating factor. The jury’s finding that there was no lawful reason for Gill’s termination indicates that it could have concluded retaliation was a but-for cause of the adverse employment action.”

If you feel that you are being discriminated based on your race, whatever race that may be, then call the right attorney. Race discrimination includes being harassed, fired, wrongfully terminated, discriminated against, demoted, wrongfully disciplined, and denied wages. When you call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at 866-797-6040, you will meet with a race discrimination lawyer from the Spitz law firm who will help you determine the best way to pursue your legal claims.

Disclaimer:

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