Company Failed to Promote African-American Employees to Management, Federal Agency Charged
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Car Wash Headquarters, doing business as Mister Car Wash and Mister Hotshine has agreed to pay $225,000 in lost wages and damages to settle a race discrimination suit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Car Wash Headquarters failed to promote Antonio Purdom and a class of similarly situated African-American employees to supervisor and management positions at its Birmingham-area locations. Instead, less qualified white employees, some with no prior work experience, were promoted. In some instances, African-American employees were responsible for training the same unexperienced white employees who were later promoted to management.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Car Wash Headquarters, Inc. d/b/a Mister Car Wash d/b/a Mister Hotshine Carwash, Civil Action No. 2:17-CV-00503-AKK) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
Car Wash Headquarters will pay $225,000 in monetary relief to Purdom and the class of similarly situated African-American employees as part of a three-year consent decree settling the suit, signed by U.S. District Judge Abdul K. Kallon on July 9, 2018. In addition to providing monetary relief, Car Wash Headquarters will take specified actions designed to prevent future discrimination, including creating a transparent and formal promotion policy and application process; implementing new policies and practices designed to prevent discrimination on the basis of race; providing anti-discrimination trainings to employees located in Alabama; providing training to management employees responsible for supervising the Alabama locations on the reporting and investigation of complaints of discrimination; creating a toll-free number and email address for reporting complaints of discrimination; and posting anti-discrimination notices in its workplace. Car Wash Headquarters will also be required to monitor employee complaints of racial discrimination and report those complaints to the EEOC.
"The EEOC will continue to hold employers who limit employees' advancement based on race accountable for such discriminatory conduct," said EEOC Regional Attorney Marsha Rucker. "This comprehensive settlement will ensure that promotion and other employment decisions are based on an individual's qualifications and not race."
According to Bradley Anderson, the EEOC's district director for the Birmingham District Office, "Federal law mandates that promotions should be made based on qualifications, not demographic categories. The EEOC will continue to enforce federal anti-discrimination laws so that all employees, regardless of their race, will have the same equal employment opportunities."
Car Wash Headquarters, Inc. operates more than 250 car washes, and 34 lube centers throughout the United States. Its corporate headquarters is in Tucson, Ariz., and it has locations in 21 states throughout the country, including Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. Car Wash Headquarters, Inc. employs a growing team of 8,000 employees.
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. The EEOC's Birmingham District covers Alabama, Mississippi (except 17 northern counties) and the Florida Panhandle.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.