Can I sue my boss for calling me the N-word?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I sue my boss for calling me the N-word?

Im a young Caucasian female who
works for a small family-owned
business. When I bring issues at hand
to my bosss attention, she tells me just
to listen to herself and her husband
the owners because Im just their
little nigger. She has recently taken it
too far and has used the word
numerous times in conversations
concerning myself and other
employees. Is this something that I can
sue her for? We have no HR within the
company so I cannot seek advice
anywhere else.

Asked on January 5, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you are caucasion, then this would not be illegal race-based discrimination, since you are neither black/of African descent nor would you be someone who might reasonbly (albeit mistakenly) be thought to be that. This is a highly offensive and inappropriate comment, but its not directed to you because of your actual or perceived race: it is a comment about your role and/or status in the company, and while wrong, is not discriminatory.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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