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Can I Sue If My Boss Calls Black Workers “Monkeys” And “Slaves”? I Need A Race Discrimination Lawyer?

On Behalf of | Dec 11, 2014 | Employment Discrimination, National Origin Discrimination, Race Discrimination, Wrongful Termination |

Top Ohio Race Lawyer/National Origin Discrimination Attorney Reply: Is it worth filing a lawsuit while I am still employed? Can I file suit if my current manager is creating a hostile work environment based on my race? What can I do if my employer is constantly referring to me and other African American employees as “monkey”?

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A high percentage of employment cases litigated by the employment discrimination lawyers at Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm as well as employment lawyers across the country usually have one common fact; an employee was terminated or forced to quit due to intolerable conditions. Many times, the discrimination itself manifests itself or comes to a head with an employee’s unlawful termination. Or, employees don’t often contact an attorney until they are actually fired.

On the attorney’s end, cases in which employees have been wrongfully terminated present a much-more clear-cut picture of what damages that employee suffered. The employee was collecting a paycheck prior to being terminated, and because of discrimination or retaliation, they are no longer collecting that paycheck.

However, what happens when a situation is so obviously discriminatory, but the employee or employees are still employed with the discriminating employee? Besides the obvious uncomfortable situation of suing your current employer, the question invariably arises, “Is my case valuable even though I haven’t lost any pay as a result of the discrimination?”

My boss is a racist. My supervisor keeps calling me “nigger.” I want to sue for national origin discrimination.

A recent lawsuit against an Arizona company answered that question with a resounding “yes.” Swissport Fueling, Inc., which primarily fuels airplanes at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport settled out of court for $250,000 in a race and national origin discrimination lawsuit involving current employees. Swissport was sued by employees from multiple African nations, including Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone because of horribly racist comments from their supervisor.

The employees’ supervisor would routinely use the word “monkey” when referring to the employees. The supervisor would ask the employees, “What are you doing here monkeys?” and even went so far as replacing one employee’s name with “monkey.” The supervisor would also refer to the employee’s lunches as “monkey soup.” In addition, the supervisor went on a racial tirade at the African employees, stating, “You guys are lucky I pay you because way back when, you did not get paid. A long time ago blacks were doing this for free.”

The African American employees reported this outrageous behavior verbally and in writing through a petition that they presented to Swissport’s general manager. Instead of correcting the racist behavior, Swissport did nothing and the racial abuse continued unabated.

The type of discrimination and racism faced by the African American employees was severe enough to warrant such a substantial out-of-court settlement even though none of the African American employees were terminated or demoted, and thus, did not have concrete evidence of damages. The Swissport case illustrates that if severe and/or widespread discriminatory behavior is occurring, substantial damages can be obtained even without evidence of termination or demotion. Therefore, it is not the best practice to simply wait until you are demoted or fired before contacting an attorney.

Given that each situation is different, it is best find out what is the best course of action for you by calling a lawyer – particularly when our attorneys offer a free initial consultation. 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 Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm who will help you determine the best way to pursue your legal claims.


The materials available at the top of this race discrimination page and on this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking: “What should I do …”, “I’m being discriminated against …”, “my boss is discriminating against me because …” or “How do I …”, your best option is to contact an Ohio attorney to obtain advice with respect to race discrimination questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm, attorney Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.

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