MORGANTON, N.C. -- A western North Carolina county has settled a racial discrimination complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Justice after a government employee repeatedly used a racial epithet at work.
Under the terms of a settlement issued Thursday, Burke County will institute racial harassment and discrimination training for all employees. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion.
According to the federal complaint, a supervisor in the county's social services department used a derogatory term for African-Americans on at least four occasions when an African-American employee was present. The supervisor later claimed to be unaware her use of the racial epithet could be considered offensive, given the lack of available sensitivity training within the county government.