Friday, August 17, 2012

California Toyota Dealership Enters Agreement Settling Harassment and Retaliation Case

A Toyota dealership in Fremont, California has finally agreed to enter into an agreement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to settle the harassment and retaliation case filed against it by the latter.

The said car dealership has agreed to pay $400,000.00 monetary fines and to conduct training to its management staff to end the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claimed that Fremont Toyota’s former general manager blatantly called four Afghan-American salesmen as terrorists and threatened to blow them up with a bomb during a staff meeting way back in 2007. Upon reporting the harassment, the men suffered retaliation like additional harassment and overtly close job monitoring until they eventually decided to file their resignation. Meanwhile, a manager who spoke up for the salesmen was fired, according to the lawsuit.

Ironically, after being referred to as terrorists from their previous job, most of the fired salesmen were said to have found work with the U.S. army serving in Afghanistan and protecting U.S. soldiers from terrorists, said by one of the former salesmen.

On the other hand, Fremont Toyota’s new general manager and legal representative refused to comment on the matter, reports said.

Under the settlement agreement signed and executed by both party, Toyota is required to train all managers, post a notice concerning the lawsuit, and file a report to the EEOC for a three-year period aside from paying the monetary relief to the five fired employees.

Meanwhile, EEOC San Francisco regional attorney William R. Tamayo said that he, on behalf of the agency, anticipates that this case will notify people that the civil rights law of the country aims to protect everyone from employment discrimination, regardless of their national origin or race. Even EEOC San Francisco District Director Michael Baldonado hopes that the settlement would bring awareness to the Afghan community regarding their legal rights and how the federal government can protect them.

Like any other states and counties in U.S., in Los Angeles, workplace discrimination is considered illegal and may lead to the imposition of severe penalties to employers and companies who violate labor laws. Therefore, employers are often discouraged from discriminating employees.