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Black boss's n-word rant to black worker costs him, nonprofit $280,000 - CNN.com

New York (CNN) -- A federal jury in New York ruled Tuesday that a man who identifies as black and Hispanic and the nonprofit he founded must pay punitive damages to an African-American employee after a previous ruling that the use of the "n-word" is inappropriate among minorities in a workplace.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by Brandi Johnson, who is African-American, against STRIVE, the employment center where she worked, claiming she was a victim of a hostile workplace after enduring verbal harassment and a series of statements filled with profanity and racial slurs from her supervisor. The employment center in East Harlem argued that the use of the word was part of a "tough-love culture."

The jury ruled Tuesday that center founder Rob Carmona must pay $25,000 and his organization must pay $5,000 in punitive damages.

Jurors last week awarded $250,000 in compensatory damages to Johnson, 38, who sued Carmona personally and STRIVE, which he founded in 1984.