What would you do?
Employee makes a racially insensitive comment in the presence of a coworker. How should we respond?
You need to investigate the matter. A racially insensitive comment could be considered harassment—unwelcome behavior that’s based on a protected class such as race. Harassment becomes unlawful if putting up with it is a condition of continued employment or if the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.
If you find evidence that harassment or any policy violations occurred, you should follow up with the offending employee. Your response should match the severity of the offense. A mildly insensitive comment might warrant an educational conversation or a warning, whereas a racial slur might warrant a final warning or termination, depending on the circumstances.
Document your findings and any disciplinary actions taken.
Our HR Team members can help you navigate through any employee-related questions or issues you may have. To learn how to get started, or for any additional assistance, just Ask Liv!