Northwest Motorsport Failed to Stop Supervisor’s Same-Sex Abuse of Filipino American Employee, Federal Agency Charged
SEATTLE — A Puyallup, Wash., used-truck dealership violated federal law when its general manager engaged in ongoing harassment targeting a Filipino American male employee, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
According to the EEOC, the male supervisor aimed demeaning comments at Northwest Motorsport’s Internet marketing manager, Bayani Salcedo, for many months in 2009 and early 2010. The harassment included frequent and derogatory observations about Salcedo’s Filipino national origin and purported sexual attributes. Despite his complaints to management, the harassment continued and finally became so unbearable that his only option was to quit, the EEOC said.
“I shared an office with my supervisor, so small it put me 12 inches away from him,” said Salcedo. “On a daily basis, he made abusive remarks about me being Filipino, and lewd and offensive comments about me, my body and my wife. It was humiliating and wrong -- I have never faced anything remotely like this in past jobs.”
Harassment of employees based on their national origin or sex violates Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964. After first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement through conciliation, the EEOC filed the lawsuit (EEOC v. Northwest Motorsport, Inc., CV-12-05728) in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, seeking monetary damages on behalf of Salcedo along with corrective measures in the workplace.
“The Filipino American community should know that the EEOC will fight for all workers. Everyone is entitled to a discrimination-free workplace,” said EEOC San Francisco Regional Attorney William R. Tamayo, whose office has jurisdiction over Washington state. “By law, employers must protect their workers and take responsibility for the actions of their management.
EEOC District Director Michael Baldonado added, “Mr. Salcedo deserved better. No one should be forced to leave a job just to escape persistent harassment.”
Northwest Motorsport’s website, www.nwmsrocks.com, bills the employer as “the #1 independent truck dealer in Washington state.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Additional information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.