Globe Furniture Rentals

105 Lab. Arb. Rep. 888 (1995)

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Globe Furniture Rentals

Labor Arbitration
105 Lab. Arb. Rep. 888 (1995)

Facts

Globe Furniture Rentals Inc. (Globe) (defendant) employed a salesperson (plaintiff) in a furniture store. The employment relationship was at will. The salesperson, who was Black, was discharged from her employment. The salesperson claimed that Globe’s president was personally involved in creating a hostile work environment by making a racially insensitive comment on a phone call that the salesperson heard because the phone was on speaker mode. The salesperson noted that she was the only Black employee at her store and that she was replaced by a White employee. The salesperson also claimed that there was a pervasive environment of sexual jokes, including pornographic material. However, the salesperson’s evidence to support these claims included only her own statements, as well as those of two other employees whom Globe had terminated. Moreover, Globe’s witnesses testified that the telephone system on which Globe’s president allegedly made a racially insensitive comment did not have a speaker-phone function. Similarly, the pornographic material the salesperson claimed she saw consisted of commonly available, if tasteless, postcards, of which the salesperson did not complain before her termination. Finally, Globe noted that the salesperson had received several written warnings regarding her performance before her discharge. Nonetheless, the salesperson brought claims for racial and sexual harassment, and the parties submitted the matter to arbitration.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Heekin, Arbitrator)

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