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Georgia County HR Director Allegedly Subjects Employees to 'Severe, Racial Harassment'  

A lawsuit alleges that a human resources director of a Georgia county berated a former employee who complained of racial harassment from a co-worker by subjecting that employee “to additional, severe racial harassment in front of the employee who sent the racist text message,” according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

DOJ department 40657 640 smallThe DOJ announced on Oct. 13 that it sued Bartow County for alleged violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 after the county subjected Carlen Loyal to a racially hostile workplace and retaliated against Bobby Turner. Loyal and Turner are former employees of the county’s road department and are Black. In 2019, Loyal complained to his supervisor after he allegedly received a text message from a white co-worker calling him the ’n-word.’”

“After Loyal’s complaint, the human resources (HR) director called Loyal into his office, where he subjected Loyal to additional, severe racial harassment in front of the employee who sent the racist text message,” the DOJ notes. “The HR director also demanded to know whether Loyal had informed anyone else of the text message, and Loyal responded that he had informed Turner.”

About two weeks after that interaction with HR, the county fired Loyal and Turner, accusing both of misconduct. The DOJ notes, however, that both men had been promoted several times and had no prior history of being disciplined by the county. “No employee should have to endure racial harassment or retaliation in the workplace, especially racial slurs,” says Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Punishing employees for reporting harassment and discrimination to their supervisors is illegal and undermines the basic statutory protections designed to identify and root out racial harassment in workplaces across the country.”

Read the full announcement from the Department of Justice. 

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