Dealership Refused to Hire Religious Applicant, Federal Agency Charged
DETROIT - Feldman Automotive, Inc., a car dealership with locations throughout metro-Detroit and Lansing, violated federal law by failing to hire an applicant because of his religion, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleged in a lawsuit filed today.
According to the EEOC's suit, Brandan Allen applied to work as a car salesperson for Feldman Automotive. Allen is a religious member of a non-denominational church, and after learning about his religious beliefs, Feldman management expressed concerns. For these reasons, the EEOC said, Feldman denied Allen the job.
Failing or refusing to hire an applicant because of his or her religion violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (EEOC v. Feldman Automotive, Inc., Civil Case No.: 2:14-cv-13684) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC's lawsuit seeks back pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages and reinstatement or front pay for Allen. The EEOC also seeks injunctive relief -- including a court order prohibiting Feldman from failing or refusing to hire applicants because of religion in the future.
"Some employers need to learn that religious discrimination and a 21st-century workplace don't mix," said Miles Shultz, trial attorney for the EEOC's Detroit Field Office. "The EEOC is here to fight for people unreasonably asked to choose between their faith and a job."
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.