EEOC Sues NY Dealer

By Staff Writer July 06, 2020

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit on June 24 that James Cars of Hamburg, LLC, doing business as James Mitsubishi Hamburg, and its parent company James Auto Management LLC, violated federal law by subjecting two female employees to a sexually hostile work environment.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, the general manager of the Hamburg dealership and two other dealerships owned by the parent company in Rome and Greece, N.Y., made numerous unwelcome sexual advances and comments to two female employees. The manager’s unwelcome conduct included repeatedly staring at and making comments about their bodies and asking them to join him in his hotel room. According to the lawsuit, the general manager mimed sex acts in front of a female employee and told her that he imagined waking up next to her in bed. The EEOC further alleges he engaged in inappropriate physical contact with the female employees, including giving unwelcome massages.

The EEOC’s lawsuit alleges the general manager’s behavior was well-known throughout the dealership, including by the Vice President of Human Resources, who witnessed and encouraged the harassment. Ultimately, one female employee was forced to quit because James Mitsubishi Hamburg took no action to stop the harassment. Such conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace.

The EEOC filed suit  in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, Buffalo Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through the agency’s conciliation process. The EEOC seeks compensatory and punitive damages for both affected employees, back pay for the employee forced to resign, and injunctive relief designed to prevent future sexual harassment in the workplace.

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Last modified on Monday, 06 July 2020 13:50

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