Search Site
Menu

Racist Trophy at Car Dealership Becomes Subject of EEOC Lawsuit

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued an auto dealership in Dallas (AOD Ventures Inc., dob Autos of Dallas) for race and gender discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Case background

According to the lawsuit, a black salesman received a trophy at a holiday party dubbing him “Least Likely to be Seen in the Dark.” He, along with other employees, found the trophy “profoundly offensive.” When he complained to the general manager about the incident, he received no help—the GM instead dismissed the trophy as a harmless joke.

Other employees began to tease the salesman about the incident after it happened, with one employee allegedly telling him he needed to smile more if he was to be seen in a poorly lit area of the dealership.

The salesman ultimately resigned from his job as the work environment placed undue stress on him, and he could not tolerate the teasing and racism. Despite making several complaints, there was no action taken by the dealership. This violates the EEOC’s requirements that employers take prompt action in response to discrimination-related complaints.

All employers should provide employees with copies of the internal policies on harassment and discrimination. They should also have internal pathways designed specifically for victims of harassment or discrimination to safely report the incidents they experience, with clearly outlined consequences for discriminatory actions. It is then incumbent on management to take every claim seriously and investigate with prudence and efficiency.

Any investigation that occurs upon claims of harassment should include interviewing witnesses, recording discussions and then determining appropriate enforcement action.

For more information about the steps to take if you believe you’ve been a victim of harassment or discrimination in the workplace, contact an experienced whistleblower attorney at Kardell Law Group.

Honors
Our Office
  • Dallas Office
    4514 Cole Ave
    #600
    Dallas, Texas 75205
    Phone: 214-306-8045
    Fax: 469-729-9926
Testimonials
  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

  • "Incredible knowledge of employee related concerns and equally brilliant knowledge of health care regulations, standards of practice. I would recommend this firm to anyone."  -V.B.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

  • "Never thought my career would end like it did after 30 years of service. I was part of the first round of the so called reduction of force. I asked myself how can I be part of this with 30 years of seniority. How did they pick these 90 plus employees? Now, the culture of this organization made you question every decision they made. It wasn’t what you knew it’s was a culture of who you know. Nonetheless, I did not accept their severance package. I immediately starting looking for an attorney who would take on my case. After the initial call to Steve I had hope again. He was open and honest about everything and reassured me he would do his best for me, and he did. I had an awesome outcome. Thanks Steve you’re the best."  -S.S.

FOLLOW US
Facebook Twitter Linkedin RSS Feed JD Supra