Jordan worked for IBM. As many of you know, the "DC Sniper" was operating in our area, causing much fear and tension. The two snipers (both of whom were Black) were caught while Jordan was at work. One of his fellow employees, seeing the news, proclaimed: "[t]hey should put those two black monkeys in a cage with a bunch of black apes and let the apes fuck them." Jordan consulted with several of his other coworkers, who confirmed that this particular employee had made comparable comments many times in the past. Pursuant to IBM policy, which mandated that employees report racial harassment, Jordan filed a complaint. His supervisor responded by changing his work hours to less convenient times, making a derogatory gesture and comment towards him at an office party, and within a month firing him. It does not appear that anyone is seriously arguing that these actions were not retaliatory. Incredibly, the Court found that this did not constitute a retaliatory action in violation of Title VII, because Jordan could not even have reasonably believed that his coworkers action could have created a hostile work environment. To be clear, the protection against retaliation does not only kick in if the conduct would have breached Title VII; all Jordan had to prove was that it was reasonable for him to believed it would have.
In any event, the Supreme Court has denied cert., so that's the end of the road for Mr. Jordan. What an appalling injustice.
Incidentally, this LA Times story on the case is really bad. The case is not about whether there should be "stricter limits on racial slurs in the workplace." It is about whether employees should be protected from retaliation by their employers when they report racial slurs. Retaliation is a separate (and in many ways, more offensive) crime than the slur itself.