U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Women Were Sexually Harassed and Retaliated Against for Complaining, Agency Charged
LAS VEGAS – Bill Heard Chevrolet Corp. of Las Vegas will pay $110,000 and furnish other relief to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
The EEOC had charged in its suit (EEOC v. Bill Heard Chevrolet Corp.-Las Vegas, et al, Case No. CV-07-01195-RLH-PAL) that management and coworkers at the car dealership openly grabbed at a woman employee’s breasts, made crude remarks about women’s bodies, persistently solicited them for dates and/or sexual favors and sexually assaulted at least one female employee. The EEOC further charged that some women were repeatedly told that women should not be in the car business. When the women tried to complain about the daily verbal harassment, the agency asserted, they suffered retaliation in the form of discipline, demotions and/or terminations.
Sexual harassment, sex discrimination and retaliation for complaining about it violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement.
Pursuant to the settlement, $110,000 was provided for nine claimants. Further, the company agreed to refrain from any further discriminatory practices, including retaliation against any employee for complaining about them.
“The women in this case sought to earn a living selling cars and rightfully expected to do so while being treated with dignity and respect,” said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office, which covers Southern Nevada. “They should not have had to endure being sexually objectified by their co-workers and management. The EEOC will take all steps necessary to ensure that employees are respected and free from sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation.”
Before it began bankruptcy proceedings in September 2008, Bill Heard Chevrolet Corp. had a facility on Decatur Boulevard in Las Vegas and more than 3,500 employees nationwide.
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing the nation’s laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.