U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Russellville Dealership Terminated a Salesperson for Complaining About Gender Discrimination, Federal Agency Alleges
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Valley Motors, Inc., in Russellville Ark., violated federal law by terminating an employee’s employment following her complaint of gender discrimination, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
According to the EEOC’s suit, Pamela Profitt was told when she was hired that she would be able to work on the pre-owned lot. When open positions on the lot continued to be filled by men, Profitt complained to the owner that she was not being permitted to sell cars from the pre-owned lot because of her gender. Profitt’s employment was terminated less than one week after her complaint.
Retaliation for complaining about discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit, Civil Action No. 4:10-cv-1420 WRW, in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement. The suit seeks monetary relief in the form of back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, and an injunction against future discrimination.
“Retaliation complaints are on the rise nationwide,” said Katharine W. Kores, district director of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas and Tennessee and certain counties in Mississippi. “An employer simply cannot terminate an employee for complaining about the violation of her federally protected rights. The Commission is vigorously pursuing retaliation cases.”
Valley Motors sells Nissan and Chrysler products in Russellville, Arkansas.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.