$100,000 Settlement in National Origin and Religious Discrimination Case, Training Ordered

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

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The federal district court in Chicago has entered a consent decree requiring Rizza Buick GMC Cadillac, Inc., a Tinley Park car dealership, to pay $100,000 and provide other relief in order to resolve a national origin and religious discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  

In its lawsuit, the EEOC charged that Rizza Cadillac violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by subjecting three Arab Muslim employees to a hostile work environment based upon their national origin and religion.  Rizza Cadillac is part of the Rizza cars conglomerate that includes eight new car franchises located throughout the Chicagoland area and that sells new and used vehicles online.  

Rizza's managers allegedly used offensive slurs, such as 'terrorist,' 'sand n----r' and 'Hezbollah,' and made mocking and insulting references to the Qur'an and the manner in which Muslims pray."

The affected employees will share $100,000 in monetary relief, and Rizza Cadillac will be taking affirmative steps to ensure a change in the work environment at the dealership, including providing training to all employees regarding compliance with Title VII; submitting periodic reports to the EEOC about any complaints of national origin or religious discrimination; and posting a notice regarding the outcome of the lawsuit on its employee bulletin board for two years.

The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v.Rizza Cadillac et al., N.D. Ill. No. 13 cv 6696) Sept. 18, 2013 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.  The case was originally assigned to District Judge John Tharp.  The consent decree ending the case was signed by U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Rowland on June 24, 2014.

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