An unusual correction just took place in Atlanta. Last year, the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta found that conversational uses of the term “boy” with black men, which were “nonracial in context” could not support a claim of discrimination. The court’s decision overturned a $1.4 million jury award to former Tyson employee John Hilthon, whose manager called him and other black men working at the chicken plant, “boy.”
After a number of complaints to the court urging it to reconsider, they have done just that and reached a new conclusion…although they did find a way to rule in Tyson’s favor. The court upheld the compensatory award to Hilthon of $365,000, but struck the $1 million punitive damages award. The court found that although the manager supervised 1,400 workers, he was not high enough in the Tyson corporation to act on Tyson’s behalf.