One Racial Slur May Be Sufficient to Create Hostile Work Environment.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit found that a single sufficiently severe racial epithet might be enough to create a hostile work environment in violation of Title VII.
A viable hostile work environment harassment claim requires conduct that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the work environment and interfere with the employee’s performance. As a general matter, courts have found that isolated racial epithets do not meet that standard. In Daniel v. T&M Protection Resources LLC, however, the 2nd Circuit, without deciding, recognized the possibility that a single use of the “N” word by a supervisor might be enough to support a hostile work environment claim. This ruling potentially makes it easier for employees to establish a claim of a racially hostile work environment.