There are many contributing factors that can lead to the creation of a hostile work environment. Many work environments can be stressful or annoying at times, but a hostile work environment crosses the line. There is specific legal criteria that must be met for a hostile work environment to be identified. Racial slurs are one occurrence that can result in the formation of a hostile work environment over time if other factors are also taken into account.
Work Environment Standards
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 set legal standards for hostile work environment conditions. This act made it illegal for employers to discriminate based on race and gender. It also set in motion the standards for a suitable work environment. Racial slurs have been determined to not completely create a hostile work environment and make it impossible for employees to do their jobs effectively. Determining if racial slurs are enough on their own to create a hostile work environment is something that is still heatedly debated.
Are Racial Slurs Something You Should Tolerate?
In many cases, racial slurs on not seen on their own to be enough to create a hostile work environment, but they are starting to be seen in a new light. Courts are now starting to view racial slurs in the workplace as enough to make your job intolerable. This is the classification that must be met for a hostile work environment to be labeled as such. One racial slur is not enough to create this type of environment, but more than one instance of racial profanity can be seen as intolerable.
In order for racial slurs to lead to the formation of a hostile work environment, they must be constant, derogatory and overt. This means that the actual atmosphere of the workplace in question is altered due to eth use, acceptance or tolerance of racial slurs. All racial slurs must be documented and reported to the person in power in the workplace. This can be used as evidence in the future if a case would be filed.
Serious Issue That Demands Attention
Racial slurs in the workplace is an issue that should be taken seriously and always brought to the attention of eth human resource department. You should not have to tolerate this type of abuse and if action is not taken by your employers, you can take legal action of your own.
Crystal Lombardo has been a staff writer for Future of Working for five years. She is a proud veteran and mother. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our editor-in-chief a message here.