Pardalis & Nohavicka Employment Discrimination Law Update: City Human Rights Law Does Not Consider Use of “N” Word a Petty Slight or Trivial Inconvenience Even When Not Directed to Complaining Employee.
In Diggs v Oscar De La Renta, LLC, a temp employee (African-American) complained of the following conduct: twice on her second day of work, she heard a Caucasian and her only co-worker in the children’s wear division, utter the epithet “n—–” to a Hispanic employee. Both times, the word was used, according to the decision, as a jocular greeting to get his attention. The word was heard few times on 2 additional days.
Supreme Court Queens County noted that the “act of uttering “n—–” in the presence of plaintiff, even if not directed toward her, may still contribute to the creation of a hostile work environment[and a] reasonable fact finder could conclude that plaintiff’s repeated subjection to hearing the word would make that work environment objectively hostile,” under the New York City Human Rights Law. Case goes to a jury.
Full decision: http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/…/2014/2014_33173.pdf