Federal anti-discrimination laws are violated if the evidence establishes that the Complainant was subjected to harassment creating a hostile work environment because of his or her protected characteristic. Although an employee’s protected status need not be the only basis for the harassment, federal equal employment opportunity statutes do not prohibit harassment unless it is based, at least in part, on a protected characteristic.
Bob, a receptionist at an auto dealership, alleges he was subjected to harassment based on his race, African American, by his co-worker, Clyde. Clyde is white. Bob alleges that Clyde throws paper at him, shoves him when they pass in the hall and threatens to beat him up. The company’s investigation reveals that Clyde’s conduct stared shortly after Clyde’s girlfriend broke with him and started dating Bob.
Bob is claiming that he was subjected to racial harassment by Clyde. Two years earlier, the dealership’s management disciplined Clyde for making a racial epitaph towards a Hispanic co-worker. Discuss whether you recognize a violation under Title VII; why / why not? Please explain your analysis.