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Employment Law Blog
James Tarquin, P.A
As part of our commitment to assist and educate employees in fighting back against the abusive employment practices of employers, we offer a broad range of information about employment law issues in our employment blog.

Do Remarks Attributing Negative Stereotypes To Hispanic Workers Create A Hostile Work Environment?

Scared Office Workers

Having represented victims of hostile work environment harassment for almost two decades, our Alachua County, Florida hostile work environment harassment attorneys know that national origin harassment is a serious problem in the American workplace. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), employees are protected from discrimination on the basis of national origin. In Espinoza v. Farah Manufacturing Company, Inc., 414 U.S. 86 (1973), the U.S. Supreme Court defined a national origin as the “country where a person was born, or, more broadly, the country from which his or her ancestors came.” National origin harassment is a form of national origin discrimination prohibited by Title VII.

In many cases, Hispanic employees are harassed by co-workers through the use of remarks reflecting negative ethnic or national origin stereotypes. Although employers are obligated to protect Hispanic workers from national origin harassment and required to take remedial action to prevent such harassment from recurring, many employers adopt a “see no evil, hear no evil” strategy when Hispanic employees are subjected to discriminatory harassment. A national origin harassment lawsuit recently filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) illustrates that Title VII is violated when Hispanic employees are subjected to remarks reflecting negative ethnic or national origin stereotypes.

EEOC’s Claims Unlawful Harassment

On August 15, 2018, the EEOC filed the lawsuit, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Alden Short, Inc. and Hinson Jennings, LLC, Case No. 3:18-cv-2125, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas after initially attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its statutorily mandated conciliation process. The EEOC brought the national origin harassment lawsuit pursuant to Title VII on behalf of Claudia Guardiola (Guardiola), Linda Spears (Spears), and Leticia Stewart (Stewart). Guardiola, Spears and Stewart, who are Hispanic, were employed by Alden Short, Inc. (Alden Short) and Hinson Jennings (Hinson Jennings). The EEOC alleges that Alden Short and Hinson Jennings subjected Guardiola, Spears and Stewart to a hostile work environment because of their national origin.

Alden Short is a property management company based in Dallas, Texas. Hinson Jennings is a subsidiary of Alden Short. The EEOC contends that Guardiola, Spears and Stewart were harassed because of their national origin by upper management employees of Alden Short and Hinson Jennings, including the Chief Operating Officer. The EEOC claims that the national origin harassment Guardiola, Spears and Stewart endured included weekly derogatory remarks and slurs about their Mexican descent. The EEOC further alleges that the harassment included characterizing Mexicans as lazy, uneducated, and undeserving. The EEOC also maintains that neither company had a human resources department or a designated employee to receive complaints of discriminatory harassment. Because of their failure to take prompt remedial action to prevent the discriminatory harassment from recurring, the EEOC contends, Alden Short and Hinson Jennings are liable for the hostile work environment harassment Guardiola, of Spears and Stewart.

Free Consultation With Gainesville Harassment Lawyers

Based in Ocala, Florida and representing employees throughout Central Florida, our Alachua County, Florida hostile work environment harassment attorneys have almost twenty years of experience fighting for employees who have been the victims of hostile work environment harassment. If you have been subjected to harassment in the workplace or have questions about an employer’s obligation to protect you from harassment at work, please contact our office for a free consultation with our Alachua County, Florida discriminatory harassment lawyers. Our employee rights law firm takes hostile work environment harassment cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that there are no attorney’s fees incurred unless there is a recovery and our attorney’s fees come solely from the monetary award that you recover.

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