In 2007 a 70-year-old white co-worker asked Mark Cann to put away a rope. Instead, in what he characterized as a joke, Cann tied it into a noose, saying that it was to put the co-worker "out of his misery."
The noose was observed and reported by a black co-worker with whom Cann had a recent falling out. The Port of Seattle fired Cann, but an arbitrator reinstated him with a 20-day suspension.
A King County Superior Court judge found that too lenient and boosted the suspension to six months.
But in a unanimous decision Thursday, the Supreme Court reinstated the arbitrator's award. The high court held that although Cann's acts were "ignorant and unacceptable," at a time when many working families live month-to-month, 20 days without pay was a significant punishment.
More Northwest Headlines
'Mind-blowing' wildfire destroys Wenatchee neighborhood Fatal shooting by police outside Portland supermarket Civic Stadium burning in Eugene, Ore. Drone flying over Seattle parade crashes, strikes woman Sheriff: Man dies after George music festival 4 arrested following police chase in North Bend Seattle teacher pepper-sprayed after MLK march files lawsuit Lawmakers scramble to pass state operating budget
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.