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PRESS RELEASE
3-28-14

EEOC Sues Hot Wheel City for Sexual Harassment

Woman Harassed and Fired in Retaliation for Complaining, Federal Agency Charges

DETROIT - Hot Wheel City, a Detroit-based automotive wheel and accessory store chain, subjected an employee at one of its Detroit stores to a sexually hostile work environment and fired her in retaliation for reporting it, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sexual harassment and retaliation. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Hot Wheel City, Case No. 2:14-cv-11287) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan after first attempting to settle the case through its conciliation process.

The agency is seeking a permanent injunction in addition to other equitable relief to eradicate the effects of Hot Wheel City's unlawful conduct. The agency is also seeking to recover monetary compensation for the harmed employee, including back pay and compensatory damages for emotional distress, as well as punitive damages.

"Federal law protects employees both from sexual harassment and from adverse employ­ment actions for opposing it," explained Nedra Campbell, trial attorney for the EEOC.  "Hot Wheel City should have investigated this employee's complaint and taken prompt remedial action to address the complaint instead of making things worse by firing her."

Eliminating policies and practices that discourage or prohibit individuals from exercising their rights under employment discrimination statutes, or that impede the EEOC's investigative or enforce­ment efforts, is one of six national priorities identified by the EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan.

According to its website, www.hotwheelcity.com, Hot Wheel City provides wheels, rims, and accessories through its six retail locations located in the Detroit metro area and in Toledo, Ohio, and has been in business since 1995.

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.