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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Licensed attorney
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I am a Production Supervisor and I am African American Male

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I am a Production Supervisor and I am African American Male age 41. Over the past 4 years there have been serveral instances involving racial statment direct to my employees and other minorities at my work place. Please see the examples below and advise if it warrants legal action. (the below events happned from 2009 thru 2013)

An employee Called one of my employees a Sand ni**er in front of one of my African American employees that was a temp. I took the issue to HR and my manager at the time pulled me to the side with he plant manager and they basically told me that the temp did not have rights and would have to take it up with the the Temp Agency. Later that month the employee that made the statement was promoted to a lead postion.(He also admitted to saying it)

About a month later a Temp (White Woman) claimed that a Hispanic employee sexually harrassed her and he was Fired.

We had a Quality Manager tell one of the Afican American employees that she looked like a Aunt Jamima because she was wearing a Bandana. (He admitted to saying it and was demoted to a Quality ENGR but was bragging to everyone that he keep his same pay. The Quality Manger is also good friends with the Plant manager and they have pictures on Facebook of them hanging out together.

My Wife who is Caucasian was helping one of the Employees at work and when they were done he todl her that was mighty white of you. She went to HR and they did not do anything and told her that they were going to have deversity tranning. (Which did not take place.)

I had a Hispanic employee tell me that employee had called him a dirty mexican and we reported to HR. The employee admitted to saying it and nothing happened. The same employee was called the same thing and this time he threw a hammer at the employee that said it and was fired because this employee denied saying it.

We had a temp(Caucasian) ask one of the full time employees(African American) if he knew what a Porch Monkey was? This was reported and the Temp is still working at the company.

I had an employee tell me that one of the employees that work for me said I was working him like a ni**er and I reported it and the employee denied it and HR told me that that thought he said it but they could not do anything about it.

Within the last year we have had two Caucasian Male Supervisor that were married admit to having Affairs with employees that worked for them. Neither of which were fired but we had a Female Supervisor that was having an affair get fired becuase one of the operator took a video of her and the employee together during working hours.

I also have had serveral instances were I was passed over for jobs that were given to employees that coached a Managers Daughter in sports or they both were preiously employed at the same place. Jobs were not posted ,positions were just created and assigned to the employees.

Brandon M. :

Hello there.

Customer:

hello

Brandon M. :

Hello.

Brandon M. :

What a terrible situation. I'm so sorry that you are experiencing this. How can I help?

Customer:

Is there any type of legal action that I can take and do I have a case?

Brandon M. :

You said that these events occurred between 2009 and 2013. When was the most recent occurrance?

Brandon M. :

*occurrence?

Customer:

The Porch Monkey incident and the employee saying ai was workign them like a ni**er happpend within the last month

Brandon M. :

Let's talk about the racial statements a bit. Has the leadership in your company been alerted to all of these events? Have they taken any steps to address them?

Customer:

Yes they know about them and nothing has been done.

Brandon M. :

This sounds like it is pervasive in your company culture. Do the other employees have the same impression as you do of the workplace environment (more or less)?

Customer:

Yes

Brandon M. :

Well, there is rarely a smoking gun in employment discrimination cases, so you have to look at the totality of the circumstances. Isolated incidents or gentle joking are not illegal, but it is illegal under the federal law to create or allow a work environment that is hostile to someone based on their race, color, gender, age (if 40 or older), religion, disability, or genetic information (etc.). When there is a pattern of abuses, and where the pattern can be identified by multiple sources within the company, the evidence is usually sufficient to make a case. I say "usually" because the nuances of every case are different, so this information should not be relied upon as complete or advice without consulting in person with counsel. But that said, your workplace sounds just dreadful and I've seen significant lawsuits won with less than half of the things you have described...

Brandon M. :

With workplace discrimination matters, the first step is ordinarily to file a complaint with the EEOC. The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) will investigate any complaint of workplace harassment or discrimination...

Customer:

So I should contact the EEoc instead of a Lawyer?

Brandon M. :

If it appears that the employer has illegally caused or permitted a hostile work environment, they will permit a lawsuit to commence against the employer. In fact, in their discretion, they may initiate a lawsuit themselves on behalf of the affected employees.

Brandon M. :

Ideally, you would want to contact a lawyer before going to the EEOC because a lawyer can help you articulate yourself in a way that is most effective, and can also help you secure any evidence that might be useful later in your case. That said, I would estimate that 90-95% of people just go straight to the EEOC without retaining an attorney.

Brandon M. :

Does that make sense?

Brandon M. :

Here is a link with instructions on how to file a complaint with the EEOC: http://www.eeoc.gov/employees/charge.cfm

Customer:

Thanks for your help....

Brandon M. :

Be aware that the statute of limitations is generally very short for filing an EEOC complaint. Typically, it must be filed within 6 months of the most recent illegal incident.

Brandon M. :

It was my pleasure. I hope that this information was helpful.

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