Slurs in the Workplace: Understanding and Asserting Your Rights
At Outten & Golden LLP, we believe in maintaining dignity and respect in the workplace. Unfortunately, not all workplaces uphold these values. Slurs and offensive language can be a form of harassment or discrimination, creating a hostile work environment. If you're dealing with such behavior, it's important to understand your rights and the steps you can take to ensure they are upheld.
What is Offensive Language in the Workplace?
Offensive language in the workplace refers to vile, obscene, or derogatory language directed towards an employee or a group of employees or others. This can include insults, slurs, or inappropriate comments related to an individual's race, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, or any other protected characteristic.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are my rights as an employee in the workplace?
Under federal law, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employees are entitled to a workplace free from discrimination and harassment. This includes the use of offensive or derogatory language targeted at an employee's protected characteristics. Many states have further laws that provide additional protections.
Is the use of slurs considered harassment?
Yes, the use of slurs and offensive can be considered a form of harassment when it creates a hostile or intimidating work environment. For it to be legally considered harassment, it must be severe or pervasive enough to interfere with the conditions of your employment.
What should I do if I'm subjected to offensive language in the workplace?
First, document the incidents, noting the date, time, location, individuals involved, and any witnesses. Report the behavior to your supervisor or HR department according to your company's policy. If your employer does not take appropriate action, you may need to seek legal assistance.
Can my employer retaliate against me for reporting offensive language?
No, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for reporting harassment or discrimination. This includes firing, demotion, or any other negative employment action.
How can Outten & Golden LLP help?
Outten & Golden LLP is experienced in handling cases involving workplace harassment and discrimination. We can provide advice, help you understand your rights, and if necessary, represent you in a legal claim against your employer.
Seek Legal Advice
Using slurs in the workplace is not only deeply offensive; it's unlawful. If you're subjected to such behavior, it's critical to know your rights and take steps to ensure they're protected. If you need legal advice or representation, don't hesitate to reach out to us at Outten & Golden LLP. We're here to support and advocate for you.
Reach out to us today. Your voice deserves to be heard, and together, we can effect change.