Bartow County, Georgia is facing a lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) after its HR department failed to stop “abhorrent” misconduct, and racially harassed the employee who reported the initial problem.
A Bartow County employee reported that a coworker had used a racial slur in a text message to him. Shortly thereafter, the HR director met with both employees. According to the original claimant, the HR director subjected them to “additional, severe racial harassment” in front of the employee who sent the text message. The director then wanted to know whether the employee had told anyone else about the text message. The claimant replied that he had told his brother-in-law, a fellow county employee.
After the meeting, both employees were fired about two weeks later for “misconduct,” despite having no prior disciplinary history. Both had been promoted multiple times before they were fired.
The employees then filed discrimination charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), who referred the claims to the DOJ. The DOJ then sued Bartow County under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. This portion of the Civil Rights Act prevents employers from retaliating against any employees who report discrimination in the workplace.
Despite Title VII and other state and federal employee protections, retaliation still occurs every day. Retaliation doesn’t just include unwarranted termination. It can also include harassment, demotion, pay cuts and other illegal activity.
If you’ve suffered retaliation after reporting discrimination in the workplace, help is available. A knowledgeable whistleblower attorney at Kardell Law Group can explain your legal options when you contact us today.