A black employee who was called offensive nicknames by supervisors and colleagues and who was fired for smoking in barred areas had a valid discrimination claim that could go to trial, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio ruled.

Adalet/Scott Fetzer Co. hired Joe Lumpkin on July 16, 2014, as a foundry custodian. Lumpkin reported to Foundry Supervisor Mark Ambrose. Lumpkin claimed that co-workers and supervisors called him racist nicknames and made derogatory comments. Ambrose called him “Joe Dirt” and “Smoking Joe”; another supervisor called him “Coolio”; and co-workers called him “Michael Jackson,” “Cheeto-head,” “Django” and “Goldie the Mack.”

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