Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
333 N.W. 3rd Avenue
Ocala, Florida 34475
James P. Tarquin, P.A Call for a FREE Consultation!352-401-7671
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.

Does Employment Discrimination Law Protect African-American Workers From Being Called A Slave?

African American man suffering from racial discrimination at work

For more than twenty years, our race discrimination lawyers in Citrus County, Florida have fought for the rights employees required to work in a racial hostile work environment. Through their decades of experience representing racial discrimination victims, our racial discrimination attorneys in Inverness, Florida know that African-American employees are often subjected to degrading and despicable remarks relating to slavery. In this article, our race discrimination lawyers in Citrus County, Florida explain how the decision in Montgomery v. Prisma Health, 2024 WL 449274 (D. S.C. Feb. 5, 2024) shows that African-American employees who are referred to as a slave have been subjected to racially abusive behavior sufficiently severe to create a racial hostile working environment in violation of federal employment discrimination law.

Protection From Racial Harassment

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) protects employees from racial discrimination in the workplace. Under well-established law, racial harassment is a form of racial discrimination prohibited by Title VII. To violate Title VII, racial harassment must be sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the victim’s employment and create a hostile working environment. To protect employees from racial harassment, Title VII imposes a remedial obligation on employees. Once an employer knows or should know of racial harassment in the workplace, the employer is required to take prompt and effective remedial action to stop the harassment. When an employer fails to take remedial action, or the remedial action does not prevent the harassment from recurring, the employer is liable under Title VII for creating and maintaining a racial hostile work environment.

Racial Harassment Lawsuit

In Montgomery, a man named Montgomery brought a racial harassment claim against his former employer, Prisma Health, pursuant to Title VII. Montgomery, who is African-American, alleges that he was required to work in racial hostile work environment in violation of Title VII.

In June 2008, Montgomery began working for Prisma Health as a certified registered nurse anesthetist. Montgomery claims that, throughout his employment with Prisma Health, he experienced race discrimination in the anesthesiology department. On one occasion, according to Montgomery, there was a noose that was prominently hanging in the breakroom. Montgomery claims that he reported the incident to management, but it appeared to him that Prisma Health did not investigate. On another occasion, an employee told Montgomery that the employee witnessed a supervisor fashioning a noose to the anesthesia cart.

Montgomery also contends that there was a continual exclusion of minorities from the anesthesia department. For most of Montgomery’s employment, the department consisted of Montgomery “and a handful of black anesthesia providers within the largest anesthesia department in the state.” According to Montgomery, there have been only three African-American male employes in the department during the thirteen years Montgomery was employed by Prisma Health. Montgomery believes that each of those men complained of race discrimination during their employment within the anesthesia department.

On September 27, 2021, an employee informed Montgomery that a doctor had made racially offensive statements about Montgomery in an operating room in the presence of staff. According to the employee’s report, the doctor called Montgomery a “slave” and made several comments inferring that Montgomery is an incompetent certified registered nurse anesthetist. Montgomery alleges that he lodged a complaint with Prisma Health the next day.

On September 28, 2021, Prisma Health terminated Montgomery and referred him to the Board of Nursing. Montgomery asserts that he was terminated for “pretextual reasons” and “accused of falsifying a medical record.”

Racial Hostile Environment

Prisma Health filed a motion with the trial court seeking dismissal of Montgomery’s racial harassment claim. In denying Prisma Health’s motion for dismissal, the trial court ruled that the conduct in question—hanging of a noose in the workplace and calling Montgomery a slave in front of operating room staff—was sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a racial hostile work environment in violation of Title VII. In support of its conclusion, the trial court explained that “the use of a noose to intimidate a black person is despicable and heinous.” The trial court also found that that “referring to a black person as a slave is similarly despicable as well as degrading, reprehensible, and inexcusable, particularly here where the comment was made in front of other employees whom [Montgomery] presumably worked with.” “The fact that each of these acts was performed by [Montgomery’s] superiors,” the trial court reasoned, “certainly increases their severity.”

Free Consultation For Discrimination Victims

One of the most important decisions racial discrimination victims must make is which employment law attorneys to consult with regarding their rights under federal employment discrimination law. As part of our dedication to helping racial discrimination victims, an experienced employment law attorney will speak with you personally and you will receive the individualized attention your case deserves. We offer free confidential case evaluations for employees, and you will not have to pay to speak with our employment attorneys regarding your rights. We are available for consultation at your convenience, including scheduling telephone consultations for evenings and weekends.

Citrus County Race Discrimination Lawyers

Based in Ocala, Florida and representing workers throughout Florida, our race discrimination attorneys in Citrus County, Florida have dedicated their practice to fighting for the rights of racial discrimination victims. If you been required to work in a racial hostile environment or have questions about your rights as a racial discrimination victim, please contact our office for a free consultation with our race discrimination lawyers in Citrus County, Florida. Our employee rights law firm takes race discrimination 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.

Designed and Powered by NextClient

© 2015 - 2024 James P. Tarquin, P.A. All rights reserved.
This Custom WebShop™ attorney website is designed
by NextClient.com.

Contact Form Tab Close Menu