consultant to consultant racial comments


Old 11-26-09, 05:49 PM
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consultant to consultant racial comments

I was a consultant at a company for the past several years.
About a year ago I got moved into a different department where there was another consultant who made a habit of making mean spirited racial remarks towards Asians.
Apparantly none of the other Asian employees (not consultants) ever said anything to him about this. When I got moved down there I addressed him on more than one occassion about his behavior, nothing changed.
I believe he got wind that I was about to file a formal complaint in which time he conspired with the floor manager (of a similar mindset) to have me relieved of duty before I could file my complaint. I cannot prove any of this.
The day I was let go, I submitted my complaint to the CEO recommending a memo be sent advising people on what is and what is not appropriate conduct. I wasn't thinking suit but instead just wanted to leave a more tolerable working environment for the others. The CEO acknowledged the behavior was not condoned and would look into it. Nearly 6 months have passed and no such memo has been sent.
This got me thinking that maybe I wasn't taken seriously and maybe I should at least inquire about my legal options. I didn't think in these terms before since:
a) neither the offender nor myself were employed by the firm
b) I have no documentation, only a few witnesses

any advice other than just suck it up?
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Old 11-27-09, 05:22 AM
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Given all the particulars I doubt you have a case; that is, I doubt you have a case that would hold up in court. Might be a good idea to be more proactive if it occurs elsewhere in the future. Rather than speaking to him directly it would probably have been best to bring it to management's attention right off the bat instead of tiptoeing around the problem. Being a non-employee consultant I suspect would maybe not make it high on management list of things to worry about, but the squeeky wheel gets the grease.
Old 11-27-09, 07:55 AM
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I figured as much. What if one of the current or fomer employees were to come forward? What documentation would be required to have a solid case? The building policy prohibits any recording devices so how else can we prove that this guy can't keep his mouth shut?
Old 11-27-09, 09:20 AM
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What documentation would be required to have a solid case?
None. They'd have to go to court with you and I highly doubt any of them will do this.
6 months is a long time to be stewing over this, IMO. I'd just get over it and move on. You'll be a lot happier.
Old 11-27-09, 12:06 PM
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I've "gotten over it and moved on" for decades now but that just doesn't work.

Every new place it starts with the nicknames "Long Duck Dong", "Kwai Chang Kain", etc., which leads to the good old "L" and "R" mixup (I've lived here since I was 5 and don't have an accent), then the fake bowing and karate stances accompanied with a "hi yahh!".

One day I woke up and decided if it's not acceptable to make similar gestures to other groups, I shouldn't have to take it either and losing my job was one thing but at least I can look myself in the mirror.

Of course, I don't expect anyone to understand but thanks for the advice
Old 11-27-09, 12:28 PM
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Well...MC...of course people can telling the ethnic or racial background of anyone here....I think the thing that people were saying was...if you put up with it that long..then..its kinda on you to make a change.

I guess my time in the military kinda got got the racial crap out of my system. Do well and know yer job? Great..yer on my good team....Don't know WTH yer doing and don't care?...yer outa here as soon as I can make it happen.

Wanna crack on me about being a northern farm prob..don't complain when I crack on you for being a redneck hillbilly....

I'm not saying either is PC (gawd I hate that)...but..sometimes its a test. You pass or you fail.

Of course I can't speak to your exact situation... only my own experiences.
Old 11-27-09, 01:38 PM
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uh, no, what people (or at least one thus far) were saying was: "I'd just get over it and move on. You'll be a lot happier."

to which I respectfully disagreed.

I did make the change about a year ago and THAT is what's made me "a lot happier".

And not to split hairs but farm boy vs. hillbilly is a matter of chosen profession/locale, not race. My experience has also been that the "overly PC" defense is most often used to justify racism. Now most people only think that growing up Asian just means having the other kids pull their eyes back and make fun of your name but here's an example of the other half of the package deal (written by a Western news source):
Asian Students Under Assault | News and Opinion | Philadelphia Weekly

My goal is not to start an internet war, those are silly, but rather to learn of any options I might have in this case. It sounds like none so I think that should conclude this thread before things go off on a tangent.
Old 12-20-09, 09:22 PM
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Frankly, I don't know if any law was broken.

If you were an employee of the company and subjected to remarks by another employee, that would certainly be illegal.

But you are a non employee and the other person is a non employee. I doubt that the company, an innocent 3rd party, has any responsibility for the squabbles of 3rd party contractors.

In addition, you don't have the evidence on your side and your services have been terminated.

My advice: forget it.

If you want to pursue an issues like this you need to be a lot smarter about how you do it --- which means getting the advice of a lawyer who specializes in this kind of case.
Old 12-20-09, 10:09 PM
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if you believe you have been discriminated against or you were in a hostile work environment, contact the EEOC.

I believe the time limit for filing a complaint is 6 months. Not sure of that though.
Old 12-22-09, 03:16 PM
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I think I'll probably leave it alone, out of work right now but wil definitely consult an EEOC atty before entering my next "on site" gig, this happens all the time and it's time I got prepared.

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