New Jersey State Civil Rights Director Chinh Q. Le announced that his office has issued a finding of probable cause against Pat Buckley, the owner of Dane Construction, a New Jersey electrical contracting company. Buckley is accused of subjecting an Asian employee to racist slurs and creating a hostile work environment that led to her resignation in June 2008.
Shi-Juan Lin was hired by Buckley as a bookkeeper and secretary in February 2008. Buckley knew that Lin’s fiancé was African-American and that the couple had a five-year-old son together.
The Finding of Probable Cause document states that Lin “alleges that she was subjected to a hostile work environment because Buckley routinely used the word “n—-r” in her presence, even referring to an African-American employee in that manner. She stated that she reminded Buckley that her son was bi-racial and this language was hurtful, but he laughed it off, answering that he was not ‘using it against your son.'”
At the fact finding hearing, Buckley denied using the word “n—-r” frequently, although he acknowledged that he used it on at least one occasion within earshot of Lin. Buckley also admitted that in “private office personal conversations, these words may have popped up, been overheard” and that “(in our office,) we can discuss things the way we want.”
In addition, Lin claims that Buckley once commented to her, “those are nice jeans on that Oriental ass.”