My co-worker claims I racially harassed him, by listening to a joke that another co-worker told "How do you tell a Portuguese from a Portagee? The Portuguese explored the world on a boat. The Portagee swam." I said “Oh… Stupid?”.
This co-worker was doing a really poor job in his new position. He thinks his managers were out to get him fired. Then he was assigned to me and I was the project leader. I reviewed his work and made him make over 20 revisions to the 6 documents. He was overdue in his work and on the day we were to have been completed I participated in the casual conversation above and he over heard it. The co-worker was Portuguese. The other guys tells these types of jokes periodically. I was then called to HR where he sited me for slander and racial comments. Can this stick?