Employment Bulletin: Massachusetts Appeals Court Finds Single Comment Actionable As Discrimination

more+
less-

Recently, in affirming a decision by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (“MCAD”), the Massachusetts Appeals Court held that a racial epithet can constitute discrimination in terms and conditions of employment. In Augis Corp. v. Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, an African-American employee alleged that a supervisor had directed a profane and offensive racial slur towards him. The employee was subsequently terminated for violating a work rule, and he filed a charge with the MCAD alleging that he had been treated differently and terminated due to his race. While the employee relied on the supervisor’s statement in support of his claim, he did not allege that he was subjected to harassment or a hostile work environment. After a hearing, the MCAD found that the employer lawfully terminated the employee and rejected the employee’s claim of disparate treatment. Nonetheless, the MCAD determined that the supervisor’s slur constituted “racial harassment” and produced an “abusive working environment.” It thus found the employer liable for discrimination under Chapter 151B. In addition, based only on the employee’s testimony that he was stunned, upset and hurt by the racial epithet, the MCAD awarded the employee $10,000 in emotional distress damages.

Please see full bulletin below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Written by:

more+
less-

Foley Hoag LLP on:

JD Supra Readers' Choice 2016 Awards
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.
×
Loading...
×
×