Can my employer fire a contractor for posting a racially threatening and targeted note on the water cooler and then hire the same contractor back 3 months later?

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Can my employer fire a contractor for posting a racially threatening and targeted note on the water cooler and then hire the same contractor back 3 months later?

Asked on January 14, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, an employer may do this--the law doesn't mandate immediate, irrevocable termination--but places itself at risk: 
1) If there is any further racial harassment, they could face liability for race-based employment discrimination or harassment; and
2) If actual physical harm, vandalism, etc. occurs and is traceable to this person, then the employer, having had warning of his/her attitude, could be liable for that, too.


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