Hitler jokes from supervisors of German descent are, oh, what’s the word?

The German word is “dumm

Or, as they say in Germ-lish: Hella-dumm.

More after the jump…

* * *


(Rammstein on this blog..bucket list: check!)

In Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Servs., Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed that “because of the many facets of human motivation, it would be unwise to presume as a matter of law that human beings of one definable group will not discriminate against other members of their group.”

Oncale involved same-sex discrimination between roughnecks on an offshore oil platform.

Now, I just gave Oncale a quick skim to refresh my memory on some of the particulars and I didn’t see anything in there about an exception for supervisors of German descent.

Neither did Judge Mariani in this recent opinion from the Middle District of PA. So, when the defendant’s supervisors mocked the plaintiff’s German accent, allegedly forbid her from speaking German at work (even though there was no English-only policy), and, oh yeah, the Hitler jokes, that all adds up to no summary judgment for the employer and trial.

So, unless you operate a German comedy club, cut out the Hitler jokes, and remind your workforce that it’s not ok to make light of one’s own protected class — even to others in the same protected class.

“Doing What’s Right – Not Just What’s Legal”
Contact Information