The Arkansas Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race. The law applies to all employers with nine or more employees (AR Code Ann. Sec. 16-123-101 et seq.).
In addition to employment discrimination, it is unlawful for an employer to:
• Retaliate against an employee for opposing an unlawful discriminatory act based on race or for filing a charge, testifying, assisting or participating in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing.
• Coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with any individual for exercising or enjoying protected rights, or for aiding or encouraging another individual to exercise or enjoy protected rights.
Harassment. Harassment based on race violates the Act when it creates a hostile work environment (Martin v. Bemis Co., No. 04-CV-1048 (W.D. Ark. 2006)). An employee can establish a claim of hostile work environment by showing that:
• He or she belongs to a protected class,
• He or she was subjected to unwelcome, severe, or pervasive race-based harassment,
• The harassment was due to membership in the protected group,
• The harassment affected a term, condition, or privilege of employment, and
• The employer knew or should have known about the harassment but failed to take prompt and effective remedial action.
Both state and federal fair employment law prohibit workplace harassment based on race or color. Harassment must be sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile work environment. Generally, the more severe and offensive the conduct is, the less frequently it has to occur before it constitutes unlawful harassment.
The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that regardless of the frequency of racial slurs and comments, other considerations can provide ...