Summary of 1998 Harassment Cases IV
Booker v. Budget Rent-A-Car (U.S. District Court—Tennessee).
This case involved a racial harassment claim by an African-American Budget Rent-A-Car manager. In addressing the manager’s claims, the federal court specifically applied the standards set out in Ellerth and Faragher. The employer was found liable because, although it had an anti-harassment policy in its manual, it could not prove that the policy had ever been distributed to employees or that managers had received any sort of training with respect to issues of racial harassment. Under these circumstances, Budget could not meet the standard of showing that it had taken reasonable care to prevent the harassment.
Implications for Employers:
Budget Rent-A-Car not only extends the earlier Supreme Court cases beyond the area of sexual harassment into racial harassment, it also underscores how important it is for employers not merely to adopt anti-harassment policies, but also to widely publicize them among employees and to provide meaningful training for management.
Source: Jackson, Lewis, Schnitzler & Krupman, White Plains, NY, December 14, 1998.