From www.nbcnews.com 2021-02-19 12:37:00 WASHINGTON —

A former operating room aide at a Texas hospital is asking the Supreme Court to decide whether his exposure to one of the most offensive terms in the English language was so severe that it created a hostile work environment.

The hospital did not respond to the appeal, suggesting its lawyers felt confident that the justices would decline to hear the case. But this week, the court called for a response from the hospital.

The issue has divided the nation’s federal courts. Some have said that the use of the slur is so serious that even an isolated incident can establish a claim of discrimination. Others have said a single use of the N-word is a “mere utterance,” and doesn’t meet the test.