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PRESS RELEASE
10-29-09

Thomas Dodge Subaru Settles EEOC Sex Harassment Suit

Company to Pay $132,250 to Settle Suit Alleging Women were Subjected to Groping, Verbal Harassment and Pornography

NEW YORK – Long Island-based car dealer Thomas Dodge Subaru, now doing business as Thomas Subaru, will pay $132,250 to settle a sex harassment lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

In the lawsuit (EEOC v. Thomas Dodge Corp. of New York d/b/a Thomas Dodge Subaru, and Thomas Motor Sports, Inc., No. 07-CV-988, E.D.N.Y.), the EEOC had charged that Thomas Dodge Subaru subjected female employees to offensive touching, degrading and sexually explicit comments, and pornographic images. The EEOC also charged that two female employees were forced to resign because of the severity of the harassment and another woman was retaliated against by being fired after complaining about the harassment.

In addition to the egregious physical and verbal abuse, the EEOC said the company failed to take appropriate action to address and stop the harassment, even when employees repeatedly complained and management was aware of the unlawful conduct.

Under the three-year consent decree submitted to Federal District Court Judge Joseph F. Bianco, in addition to the $132,250 to be paid, the company must conduct anti-discrimination training, adopt complaint procedures, post a notice about the EEOC and the lawsuit, provide a memorandum setting forth the requirements of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to all employees, and submit to monitoring and reporting to the EEOC.

“No employer should allow such degrading and shameful conditions for women in the workplace,” said Spencer H. Lewis, Jr., district director of the EEOC’s New York District Office.  “To avoid such conditions, an employer should have multiple ways for an employee to complain about harassment and when it becomes aware of it, the employer must take immediate steps to stop and prevent the harassment.”

Konrad Batog, the EEOC’s trial attorney assigned to the case, added, “Through this consent decree, the company has implemented an anti-harassment policy that provides employees multiple avenues of making complaints and we will monitor any complaints to make sure that they are effectively resolved.”

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.  Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s web site at www.eeoc.gov.