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EEOC Sues Autonation For Sex Discrimination

Coral Gables Dealership Shunned Woman for Job, Saying It 'Needed a Man,' Federal Agency Charges

MIAMI - AutoNation, one of the nation's largest car dealerships, violated federal law by discriminating against a female assistant parts manager at its Coral Gables location when it failed to promote her to a vacant parts manager position because of her sex, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit today.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Jacqueline de la Torre worked at AutoNation since 1996, working her way up from a clerical position to assistant parts manager - a title she successfully held for approximately 10 years. When the parts manager position became vacant, AutoNation did not even afford her an opportunity to apply. Instead, AutoNation hired a male with less experience and required de la Torre to train him. When she complained to AutoNation about not being considered for the parts manager position, AutoNation acknowledged that she was the most qualified candidate, but told her that the position "needed a man."

Sex discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit against AutoNation (and affiliated entities) (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. The EEOC seeks monetary and injunctive relief to address the discriminatory practices.

"All employees are entitled to the freedom to compete for promotions on a fair and level playing field, without regard to whether they are male or female," said the regional attorney for the EEOC's Miami District Office, Robert E. Weisberg. "Employers must make promotion decisions based on qualifications and experience, and not based on misguided unlawful gender based stereotypes."

Michael Farrell, district director for the EEOC's Miami District Office, added, "The EEOC has long been dedicated to eradicating the glass ceiling for women in all professions and, with this case, continues to ensure that women will be afforded the same promotional opportunities as men."

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.