Car Dealership Subjected Employee to Harassment for Being Gay and Having Crohn's Disease, Federal Agency Had Charged
CHICAGO - Chicago car dealership Evergreen Kia will pay $100,000 and provide other relief to settle a sexual orientation and disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
According to the EEOC's suit, Evergreen Kia harassed a car salesperson for suffering from Crohn's disease and for being gay. The EEOC alleged that the dealership's owner subjected the employee to a continuing course of unwelcome and offensive conduct which became so intolerable that the employee was forced to quit.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disability Act of 1991 (ADA). Title VII prohibits discrimination because of sex (including sexual orientation, gender identity, and pregnancy), and the ADA prohibits disability discrimination. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v Evergreen Motors, dba Evergreen Kia, Case No. 17-cv-07084) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on Oct. 2, 2017, after first trying to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The consent decree settling the suit, entered by U.S. District Judge Blakey on April 26, 2018, prohibits future discrimination and retaliation in the future, requires an outside monitor to investigate complaints of sex or disability discrimination or harassment, and provides that Evergreen Kia will pay $100,000 to the aggrieved individual. Evergreen Kia must also post notices of the settlement, revise its anti-discrimination and record-keeping policies, report complaints of sex or disability discrimination periodically to the EEOC, and train its managers regarding their obligations under the law.
"We thank Evergreen Kia for its commitment to settle this case before the parties incurred significant costs and for its willingness to modify its policies, provide training to its employees, and to have an outside monitor investigate complaints of discrimination," said EEOC Chicago Regional Attorney Gregory M. Gochanour.
Julianne Bowman, the EEOC's District Director for the Chicago District Office, added, "The EEOC will continue to enforce the federal laws so that all gay and disabled employees have the same opportunities as everyone else to work in environments free from harassment."
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.