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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18790
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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Hello. I am writing today regarding an employment law question.

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Hello. I am writing today regarding an employment law question. An co worker of mine called me the n word in a facebook post after my supervisor spoke to her about my compliant of harassment. My employer did no investigation into this issue and stated that they counseled her. is counseling enough? and are they sending her and other the right message. I did filed a formal complaint to my employer.

Thank you for your question today, I look forward to assisting you. I bring nearly 20 years of legal experience in various disciplines.


The laws concerning racial discrimination don't actually state what punishments are appropriate for what offenses. So, it's really difficult to say whether or not counseling is enough. Does a law say that counseling is not enough? No. Does a law say that it is enough? No, that's not accurate either.


Essentially, all the law states is that an employer is not to tolerate racial discrimination under Title VII. They certainly have no legal obligation to terminate her or demote her, but they have to take some action that shows that they are taking the discrimination seriously and that they are not ignoring your complaints.


Now, I will say that there are plenty of cases out there where people have faced much more pervasive acts of racial discrimination where the employer counseled people and that was, after a lawsuit, considered to be sufficient by the court. If this is really the only incident that you can point to of racial discrimination, I think that you'll find that the employer is not going to face any sanction or fine from any court for ignoring your complaint.


As an employment law attorney that sues employers for a living, I would not sue an employer just on these facts alone. I'd need a much longer history.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your reply. I requested a religious accommodation from my employer. My religious accommodation was granted and my employer and I agreed that I would come in on every other Sunday at 11pm instead of 7pm so that I could attend my Church services and still get rest before work. A month after my religious accommoation was put into place, my scheduling manager called me and asked me to come in at 7pm on one of the Sunday's I was scheduled to come in at 11pm. When I told her I couldn't, she got mad and very upset with me and hung up the phone on me. The following weekend she took me off the schedule without telling me, causing me to lose 20 hours of work and $200 of pay. When I discussed it with her, she stated to me that they were going to transfer me to a different site anyways where I wouldn't have to worry about working Sundays. She never notified me or my supervisor at the other site that I was taking off the scheldule without my knowledge. I complained about my scheldule manager after she didn't repond to my accommodation request. There after i was retaliated by her. Now i filled a complaint agaisnt a co worker, and the companing is refusing to review my envidence and properly address my complaint.


Ok. Here is the problem with religious accommodations (which I have also used). They are really very discretionary. It's not like even a disability accommodation, where they absolutely have to do it. You'd have to establish that they were intentionally trying to make you not have the accommodation, rather than simply trying to conduct their business.


Now, the facts you've stated here sound a lot more like retaliation than specifically religious discrimination. That's ok. That gives some basis for complaint.


If you feel strongly about this issue, contact the EEOC and complaint about retaliation based on your initial religious accommodation request and then your resistance to giving up that accommodation. Note that, additionally, they appear to have barely paid any attention to a clear racial discrimination issue.


The combination of those issues together is much more powerful than a single instance of the use of the N work on a facebook page.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you your response. Am not disputing that i was granted my accommondation. My employer is denying that i ever asked for it. I have a tape envidence that i did. Is it wise to provide false information, and does this damage thier credibility?

No, it is never wise to provide false information.


Yes, it does harm their credibility. It makes their excuses for their actions appear to be a "pretext" for discrimination, which is the legal term set out in case law.


If you have proof of your request and they are denying ever receiving that request AND they appear to be not taking very seriously a clear case of racial discrimination, they will not be looked at favorably in an EEOC complaint.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My scheldule manager declare under penalty of perjury under the Laws of NY that I never asked for an accommondation. She even signed a statement declaring that. Thank you for your assistance.

Ok. Well, there just really isn't anything we learn in law that prepares us for how to deal with a person that is willing to lie.


All you can do is state that they are lying and move forward. No special legal tricks there. That being said, a person that is willing to lie under oath is obviously hiding something and the jury, if it gets that far, is likely to feel that that person must be hiding discrimination based on an illegal factor...otherwise, why lie?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

True. One more question please. Do I have to use the word religion accommondation or the word church is sufficient enough?

As an employee, you aren't required to be an employment law expert. All you have to do is give the employer enough information for them to be able to figure out what you're talking about.


If you're asking for an accommodation for church, they have an obligation to make that connection to a religious accommodation.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you very much for your help.

No problem. Take care.
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