National Car Wash Company Rejected Black Employees For Promotion, Federal Agency Charged
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A national car wash company violated federal law when it denied promotions to a class of black employees because of their race, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
According to the EEOC's suit, Car Wash Headquarters, Inc. d/b/a Mister Car Wash d/b/a Mister Hot Shine Car Wash, repeatedly refused to advance qualified African-American employees to management positions at its Birmingham, Ala.-area locations. Antonio Purdom, Walter Gibson, Marcus Kidd, and Anthony Graham, along with a class of black employees, repeatedly expressed interest in management positions that became available from 2013 to the present. The men had been working in various positions at the company's two Birmingham locations since as early as 2003 and were qualified for promotion, the EEOC said. However, despite their qualifications, the company rejected each of the black employees for management positions and instead promoted less qualified and less experienced whites.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from using race as a factor in making employment decisions. EEOC filed its lawsuit in filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama (EEOC v. Car Wash Headquarters, Inc. d/b/a Mister Car Wash, d/b/a Mister Hot Shine Carwash, Case No.2:17-cv-00503-JEO) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC's lawsuit seeks monetary damages, including back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, and injunctive relief.
"Employers cannot make personnel decisions based on an employee's race," said Marsha Rucker, regional attorney for the EEOC's Birmingham District Office. "Employers who allow race to motivate their workplace decisions are violating their employee's rights, and the EEOC will take action to enforce federal law and stop this harmful and self-defeating practice."
Delner Franklin-Thomas, district director for the EEOC's Birmingham District Office, added, "All employees have a right to a workplace free from discrimination. The EEOC remains committed to ensuring that employees receive equal employment opportunities, regardless of race or any other irrelevant factor."
According to company information, Car Wash Headquarters, Inc., dba Mister Car Wash, dba Mister Hot Shine, is a national company headquartered in Tucson, Ariz., operating full-service car washes and lube centers. Car Wash Headquarters, Inc. employs approximately 7,000 people in over 200 locations in 20 states throughout the United States, including two locations in the Birmingham area.
The EEOC's Birmingham District consists of 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.