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Autonation-Owned Dealerships to Pay $150,000 To Settle EEOC Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

Dealership Rejected Qualified Female Employee Due to Her Sex, Federal Agency Charged

MIAMI - AutoNation-owned dealership, Abraham Chevrolet-Miami, Inc., which does business in Coral Gables, Fla. under the name "AutoNation Chevrolet Coral Gables," will pay $150,000.00 to its former assistant parts manager to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC's suit, Jacqueline de la Torre worked her way up from a clerical position to assistant parts manager - a title she held for approximately 10 years. When the parts manager position became vacant, AutoNation Chevrolet Coral Gables didn't allow her to apply and, instead, hired a less qualified male and required de la Torre to train him. When she complained, upper management acknowledged she was the most qualified candidate, but told her the position "needed a man."

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination based on an individual's sex. The EEOC filed suit against AutoNation (Case No.1:17-cv-23550-RNS) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

Under the consent decree settling the suit, the general managers of two AutoNation-owned dealerships in the Miami business market must deliver live executive messages to their workforces regarding the importance of equal employment opportunity and diversity, including sex diversity in hiring and promotion and to ensure equal opportunity employer language is included on all job postings for their Parts and Service Department management positions. The decree also requires annual training for those general managers as well as management and employees in the dealerships' Parts and Service Departments for three years covering sex-neutral and non-discriminatory recruiting, interviewing, and hiring and training on how to avoid stereotypes, including sex-based and gender-role stereotypes, among other topics. AutoNation Chevrolet Coral Gables will report annually to EEOC on applicants for management positions in its Parts and Service Department and on its hiring decisions. Both dealerships will post notices for the duration of the decree reminding employees of their rights enforced by the EEOC.

"Employers in traditionally male-dominated professions must make the workplace safe for all employees to compete for promotions on a fair and level playing field, without regard to gender," said EEOC's Miami District Office Regional Attorney, Robert E. Weisberg. "We believe this resolution will help dispel misguided unlawful gender based stereotypes."

Michael Farrell, district director for the EEOC's Miami District Office, added, "The EEOC will continue to vigorously investigate allegations of gender discrimination to ensure women in professions that may have once been perceived as traditionally male will be treated equally in consideration for hire and promotion."

The EEOC's Miami District Office is comprised of the Miami, Tampa and San Juan EEOC offices, and has jurisdiction over Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.