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Unformatted text preview: mined under the Supreme Court's "totality of the circumstances" test
established in Harris v. Forklift Sys., Inc., 510 U.S. 17, 23, 126 L. Ed. 2d 295, 114 S. Ct.
367 (1993), was not sufficient to overcome Adcom's post-verdict motion for judgement
as a matter of law. [*27] In addition, the majority concludes that Smith's statement that
"he was going to kill a bunch of M--F ers" constituted a legitimate nondiscriminatory
reason for firing him, and that Smith failed to establish that this reason was pretextual. I
must respectfully dissent.
In Harris, the Supreme Court held that courts reviewing a hostile work environment claim
should consider "all of the circumstances," including the "frequency of the discriminatory
conduct; its severity; whether it is physically threatening or humiliating, or a mere
offensive utterance; and whether it unreasonably interferes with an employee's
performance." According to the Court, "the conduct in question must be severe or
pervasive enough to create an environment that a reasonable person would find hostile or
abusive, and the victim must subjectively regard that environment as abusive." Id. at 2122. Moreover, the plaintiff must also prove that his employer "tolerated or condoned the
situation" or knew or should have known of the alleged conduct and did nothing to
correct the situation. See Jackson v. Quanex Corp., 191 F.3d 647, 659 (6th Cir. 1999).
The [*28] Supreme Court in Harris acknowledged that determining whether a work
environment is objectively hostile or abusive is not a "mathematically precise test." Id.
In this case, the majority finds that the circulation of a racially discriminatory and lewd
cartoon by a supervisor around the plant, the use of the "N" word and other racially
demeaning terms by fellow employees and supervisors in the presence of Smith on more
than one occasion, and disparate treatment concerning disciplinary measures imposed on
other white employees at the plant fo...
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- Spring '08