Nascar has been sued by a former technical inspector in the Nationwide series. The African-American woman seeks at least $225 million in her claims for sexual harassment, racial and gender discrimination and wrongful termination. In the lawsuit, she alleged she was referred to as "Nappy Headed Mo" and "Queen Sheba," by co-workers, was often told she worked on "colored people time," and was frightened by one official who routinely made references to the Ku Klux Klan. In addition, she claims male co-workers made sexual advances, two of whom allegedly exposed themselves to her, and graphic and lewd jokes.
If true, those claims are indeed strong evidence of harassment and discrimination. But what’s worse is that her supervisor allegedly ignored her complaints and dismissed by saying that the guys were "former military guys" with a rough sense of humor and that she would just need to "deal with it". Now, Nascar must "deal" with a huge lawsuit. And in case they didn’t notice, this predominately white and male sport is a fairly easy target in a case of this nature.
Nascar should have heeded several of my tips on how to avoid employment lawsuits. Th two that quickly come to mind are to treat all employees with respect and to take action promptly to investigate when complaints occur. If you are a supervisor in an organization where harassment or discrimination is suspected you had better not tell the employee to simply "deal with it". That’s going to get you sued every time.