What are my rights regarding llegations of racism?

I’m an African-American who have been accused of being a racist. The alleged person has complained to HR. However, this individual doesn’t report to me at all. We are colleagues. The only thing I’ve said was a professional advice to her African-American male friend who also works for the same company. I simply said to him,

Asked on September 24, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) Racial discrimination can occur at work when one person harasses another at work due to racial or some race-based reason--there is no need for there to be supervisor-supervisee relationship.
2) You employer must investigate any racial discrimination or harassment allegations made: that is their obligation under law, and a failure to do so, should it turn out that there was racially based harassment, would expose them to liability.
3) Nothing you have written about would give rise to a defamation claim: defamation is the making to other people of false factual assertions about you which damage your reputation. Investigating a claim of racial harassment, or warning another employee to be careful speaking to you, is not the making of an untrue negative factual assertion about you, and is not defamation.

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