Dealership Admits to Harassment Claims Featured
26 January 2017
A Washington state car dealer admitted to allegations of a pattern of sexual harassment by its former owner and employee, Monte L. Masingale.In a consent decree filed in Spokane County Superior Court, two companies that jointly do business as Greenacres Motors agreed to accept fines and penalties totaling $280,000. The businesses will also adopt a non-discrimination policy, reporting and recordkeeping requirements, and give all their employees antidiscrimination training.The decree includes monetary relief, including $130,000 for Masingale’s victims, $30,000 in civil penalties and $120,000 in costs and attorneys’ fees.The dealerships’ current owner is in bankruptcy, so the actual amount victims and the state will receive is uncertain. The consent decree includes a requirement that the debtors prioritize payments to the victims, if allowed by the Bankruptcy Court.Masingale himself was also named as a defendant in the lawsuit but died in July 2016.Masingale frequently posted help-wanted ads for a secretary in newspapers and on websites like Craigslist. Masingale refused to hire males for the position, and sexually harassed young women who applied.Victims’ reports show a distinct pattern. Masingale made unwelcome sexual comments and advances, touched and groped female employees without their permission and asked female employees to agree to a sexual relationship as a condition of continued employment. Many women quit rather than continue to be subjected to Masingale’s harassment, and some reported it to the police.Greenacres operates dealerships in Spokane, Spokane Valley and Post Falls, Wash. In November 2016, the companies admitted that they knew or should have known about Masingale’s harassment and are responsible for his conduct. The companies withdrew their previous court filings that denied the allegations.