Harley-Davidson Store Loses Discrimination Suit

By Staff Writer August 05, 2021


A federal jury has awarded $500,000 in punitive damages to Virginia Duncan, a female sales manager at a Harley-Davidson dealership, who was denied a promotion to a general manager position at its Tampa dealership on the basis of her sex, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.

The evidence at trial showed that management at Cigar City Motors — part of the Ferman Automotive Group, which had five Harley-Davidson dealerships in Florida — had never promoted a female employee to general manager prior to the EEOC’s lawsuit. Several former Cigar City general managers testified on Duncan’s behalf, and told the jury that Duncan was qualified for the general manager position, but that Cigar City thought she was too “motherly” for the job.

The Tampa jury of eight returned a unanimous verdict finding that Cigar City was motivated by gender in denying Duncan the promotion and awarded punitive damages in the amount of $500,000.

“The jury’s verdict should serve as a wake-up call to the automotive industry, including Harley-Davison dealerships, that they are not exempt from federal laws which make workplace sex discrimination unlawful,” said Robert Weisberg, regional attorney of the EEOC’s Miami District Office. “It’s time for the ‘good old boy’ method to be retired.”

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Last modified on Wednesday, 11 August 2021 10:52