Russellville Dealership Fired Female Salesperson for Complaining About Gender Discrimination, Federal Agency Charged
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Valley Motors, Inc., an automobile dealership located in Russellville Ark., will pay $30,000 to settle a retaliation lawsuit brought by U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
The EEOC’s suit, Civil Action No. 4:10-cv-1420 SWW, charged that Valley Motors violated Title VII when it fired a female sales associate after she complained that Valley Motors refused to place her on the used car lot because of her gender. Valley Motors fired the sales associate less than a week after receiving her written complaint.
Retaliation for complaining about discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
“Unfortunately, retaliation charges and lawsuits have risen significantly over the last couple of years, both in the Memphis District and across the country,” said Regional Attorney Faye A. Williams of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee and portions of Mississippi. “Employers must learn that employees have a right to complain when they think that the employer may have violated their federally protected rights.”
Valley Motors, Inc. employs about 34 people, including sales associates, and sells Nissan, Hyundai, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram trucks.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.