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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    4

    Exclamation Disciplined After Reporting a Racist Comment, Hostile Workplace

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Florida

    (please excuse any typos in advance, I am typing from my phone)

    I am a HR generalist for a big box retailer. I report to the store manager, who is not in human resources.

    I spoke to my boss about concerns of racial discrimination and a racial remark that one of the other managers made towards African Americans. I am African American. Essentially, my boss originally asked me to brush it under the rug. I brought the issue up again and said that it needed to be addressed. He asked me to leave it alone.

    I spoke to the Human Resources Business Partner about it and she came to my store to meet with me, then she met with my boss. I requested a transfer to another store to get out of the racially hostile environment. Right after she left the store, he called me into his office and took disciplinary action against me for something random (for "not handling a food order
    Properly", he gave no details or explanation, it was very vague). The food event was many weeks prior, and I had received a performance evaluation since that event and it was not mentioned. Prior to coming forward about racial discrimination, I had never received any disciplinary action and had received excellent performance evaluations and many accolades. I contacted the corporate hotline and reported him for retaliation. I also reported racial discrimination that was going on in my store, some of which did involve my boss. Employee relations contacted me a few days later to discuss my concerns further and initiate an investigation..... employee relations told me that after speaking with me, the next step was to speak with any witnesses that were named, and my boss.

    about a week after that, employee relations scheduled a follow up call.... when we spoke, I was informed that they decided not to contact my boss or any named witnesses because they "didn't want to make the situation worse" & thought that "since I am in HR, they could talk through it with me without involving my boss or other employees" and they felt that I could "help my boss become a better leader" they also told me that I should "be careful about reporting these kinds of things, especially involving other employees"..and "since I'm in HR, I should be the gatekeeper in these kinds of issues"..then they closed the investigation. They also told me that my request to transfer to another store was denied.

    Days later.... an employee made a comment calling my hair nappy, and the most recent was another manager hung a monkey from a noose during Black History Month.

    I just got my annual performance review and it is lower than my quarterly review average (i get reviews each quarter, I had gotten excellent all year and those scores feed into the annual review). I did not receive an excellent, he lowered my score, and put feedback on my review that contradicted my quarterly reviews). I was due for a paygrade promotion next month, but I would have needed an excellent to get it... I feel like it was a strategic move to prevent that from happening. he has also started asking other managers to keep track of what time I come into work and what time I leave, he is micromanaging me......giving me long checklists of things to do (he never used to do that).... taking disciplinary action against me for things that he does not discipline the other managers for. also, one of my peers (the one who hung the monkey from the noose) confronted me about something, I told my boss and he said "maybe he was upset"... however, when I confronted that same peer, my boss called me at home and told me that my "interaction (with that peer) needs to change". There was also a day where my boss decided to have a conversation with human resources on the phone right outside of my office door where I could hear (instead of his office), and I heard him say that "the stuff I am reporting makes him feel like I have my own agenda, so he is going to continue disciplinary action until I'm terminated.

    It has literally gotten so stressful that I have developed anxiety (pulling out my hair), and depressed. No one is offering me any recourse, I'm forced to work under this boss and the racially offensive things are ongoing. I thought HR had to conduct an investigation into these claims. I feel like they were afraid of what would come out. My boss has a history of managers committing suicide and sexual harrassment, but has never been terminated (from what I understand)... I could be wrong, but if any of you can think of any other reason why JR would not have done the interviews, and said what they did to me... please advise.....

    between HR not conducting any interviews and the information that I stated, does it sound like I have a case to file with the EEOC? I don't know what to do.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,078

    Default Re: Retaliation/Discrimination Case

    It can't do any harm. I am always hesitant to say whether someone does or does not have a valid claim under the EEOC when I have only heard one side of the story, but I cannot see that it would hurt for you to at least discuss the situation with an EEOC officer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Disciplined After Reporting a Racist Comment, Hostile Workplace

    Quote Quoting itsme23
    View Post
    Days later.... an employee made a comment calling my hair nappy, and the most recent was another manager hung a monkey from a noose during Black History Month.
    Were these incidents reported? While I understand they don't have a good track record, H.R. can only act on incidents it knows about.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Disciplined After Reporting a Racist Comment, Hostile Workplace

    Yeah, they were reported. I made sure that I documented all of the incident and sent them to employee relations through the integrity hotline website so I have documented proof that I made them aware.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I think my real question is whether or not I have a legal case....?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    4

    Exclamation Retaliation for Reporting Racial Discrimination. Do I Have a Case

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Florida

    I started a previous thread, but it might be too long so maybe that's why I'm not getting any responses. basically, I feel that I am being retaliated because I reported racial discrimination from my boss and other managers.... (he retaliated by disciplinary action for something random the day after he found out I went to HR. Prior to that, I had excellent performance evaluations. I reported this retaliation to human resources, but they did not conduct any interviews with my boss or any of the witnesses listed. They covered it up. Since I reported the situation, there has been more racial discrimination against me.... for example a (white) employee referred to my hair is being happy, and then a monkey was hung from a noose during Black History Month..... I have reported this as well (the report is documented). I have requested a transfer to be removed out of the racially hostile environment, but HR denied it. I have literally developed anxiety and depression because of this....I guess my question is, can the employer be held liable for this?

    I am wondering if I have a legal case to stand on.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Retaliation for Reporting Racial Discrimination. Do I Have a Case

    As you saw when you posted, there's a forum rule against double-posting questions.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Il.(near StL,Mo.)
    Posts
    5,252

    Default Re: Retaliation for Reporting Racial Discrimination. Do I Have a Case

    You did get responses.

    Why don't you go ahead & file a complaint with the EEOC & see what they think?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Lake Chapala
    Posts
    2,958

    Default Re: Retaliation for Reporting Racial Discrimination. Do I Have a Case

    We don't always tell people to speak to the EEOC. When we do, it means we think there's a probability they have a legal case.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Officially across the country from where I've been all my life
    Posts
    4,494

    Default Re: Retaliation for Reporting Racial Discrimination. Do I Have a Case

    Did you happen to take pictures of the monkey and the noose?
    If you wanted babies all to yourself, you should have created them by yourself. Until you do that, children have the right to BOTH parents, especially since you found them suitable to procreate with.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,078

    Default Re: Retaliation for Reporting Racial Discrimination. Do I Have a Case

    WE DON'T KNOW if you have a legal case. A message board hearing one side of the story and with no access to any of the documentation cannot say for certain that you do or don't. The details you have provided suggest there is at least a chance that you do, which is why we referred you to the EEOC. But a definite yes or not cannot be established in this kind of forum 95% of the time.

    You have a better chance of it than most of the people who come through here. That's the best I can give you.

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