$400,000 Settlement in National Origin Discrimination and Retaliation Lawsuit

Monday, August 13, 2012

Fremont,  Calif., car dealership Fremont Toyota agreed to pay $400,000 and implement training for the dealership’s  management staff to settle a federal  discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity  Commission (EEOC). 

The EEOC’s lawsuit charged that Fremont Toyota’s general manager singled out four Afghan American  salesmen during a staff meeting, calling them “terrorists” and threatening them  with violence.  After the men reported  the harassment, they faced retaliation by the car dealership, such as  additional verbal harassĀ­ment and extra job scrutiny.  Finally, the salesmen felt they had no option  but to resign.  An Afghan-American  manager was also fired from his job after he spoke up for the four salesmen. 

Harassment based on national origin and retaliation  violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  After an investigation by EEOC Investigators  Scott Doughtie and Adriana Gomez, and after first attempting to reach a  pre-litigation settlement through conciliation, the EEOC filed the lawsuit (EEOC v. Fremont  Automobile Dealership LLC, dba Fremont Toyota, Civil No. 11-4131  CRB) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.  Under the terms of the decree resolving the  lawsuit, Fremont Toyota agreed to train all managers, post a notice regarding  the lawsuit and to report to the EEOC for a three-year period, in addition to paying $400,000 to the five former employees.

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