How FREE Is HARASSMENT FREE? EMPLOYER LIABILITY FOR THIRD-PARTY RACIAL HARASSMENT

  • Robert E. Wonet
  • Published 2009

Abstract

Freda and Sonia, both African-Americans, are waitresses at a local hotel. A local civic group has booked the ballroom and invited a noted comedian as the entertainment for the evening. The group has informed the hotel management that the comedian will be performing. The hotel manager is aware, from personal experience at another banquet, that the comedian uses racially and sexually explicit jokes in his routine. Both waitresses are sent in to clear dishes while the comedian is performing. They hear him make jokes about the sexual organs and sexual abilities of black men and women, using terms such as: "wog," "nigger," and "sambo." Upon spotting the waitresses, the comedian, addressing them from the stage, makes racial jokes about their appearances and sexual abilities. The waitresses, although upset, continue their work. Later in the evening, while serving coffee, one waitress is asked by an audience member, "What is it like to do it with a black woman?" The other waitress is also the target of racial remarks from an audience member.1 The next morning, both waitresses file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under Title VII, charging sexual and racial harassment. What is the proper role of the employer in combating racism in the workplace? Is it sufficient to hold the employer responsible for the racial harassment only of those under the employer's direct control-supervisors

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Wonet2009HowFI, title={How FREE Is HARASSMENT FREE? EMPLOYER LIABILITY FOR THIRD-PARTY RACIAL HARASSMENT}, author={Robert E. Wonet}, year={2009} }