Hostile Work Environment Exists When Words Such As Spade, Spook and Buckwheat Are Used

     The EEOC recently reached a settlement with an oil and gas company, Murex.  The EEOC claimed that Murex subjected one of its African-American employees to a racially hostile work environment.  The EEOC’s lawsuit alleges that Murex’s employee, Derrick Jenkins, endured racial harassment from his co-workers during his employment in 2014.  Jenkins’ co-workers called him offensive racial slurs such as “spade,” “spook,” and “Buckwheat.”  In addition, the co-workers used other inappropriate racial terms such as “n***** rigged.”  Jenkins supervisor observed the racial harassment but did nothing to stop it.  In addition, the EEOC also alleged that another African-American employee for Murex complained to an executive at the company, but that that executive also did nothing to stop the harassment.  Such alleged conduct is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Discrimination or harassment on the basis of race is illegal.  See EEOC v. Murex Petroleum Corp., No. 1:18-cv-00169-CSM (D.N.D.).

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