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Press Release 01-10-2024

Autos of Dallas Settles EEOC Race Discrimination Suit

Resolves Federal Charges Auto Sales Worker Was Given Racist ‘Trophy’ and Subjected to Taunting About Skin Color

DALLAS — AOD Ventures, Inc. doing business as Autos of Dallas, a local retailer of pre-owned vehicles in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, will pay $22,500 and furnish other relief to settle a race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, car salesman Jonathon Sellers, who is Black, attended a December 2019 holiday party in which management called him to the front of the room and handed Sellers a trophy labeling him as the employee “Least Likely to Be Seen in the Dark.” Sellers and other employees in attendance found the trophy offensive. As alleged in the EEOC’s complaint, Sellers complained about the trophy to Autos of Dallas’ general manager, but no remedial action was taken in response to his complaints. After Sellers returned to work following the holiday party, other employees teased Sellers about the trophy and subjected him to offensive comments.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race and color. The EEOC filed suit, Civil Action No. 4:21-CV-00418, in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

Under the consent decree resolving the lawsuit, along with the monetary damages, Autos of Dallas agrees to implement training for all employees regarding race discrimination and race harassment. The two-year decree also enjoins Autos of Dallas from any illegal employment practice that discriminates on the basis of race, including race harassment that creates a hostile work environment.

“We think it is important that in addition to resolving this case on behalf of Mr. Sellers, this consent decree also commits Autos of Dallas to training for all employees, management and non-management, on the laws prohibiting race harassment at work,” said Joel Clark, a senior trial attorney in the EEOC’s Dallas District Office.

EEOC Regional Attorney Robert Canino added, “It is difficult to understand how almost 60 years after the passage of Title VII, with its prohibitions against employment discrimination, managers facilitate or permit blatant derogatory treatment based on an employee’s race or skin color. Leadership of businesses, big or small, must communicate expectations clearly and demonstrate explicitly that discriminatory conduct will not be tolerated in the workplace.”

For more information on race and color discrimination, please visit For more information on harassment, please visit

The EEOC’s Dallas District Office has jurisdiction over much of Texas and parts of Southern New Mexico.

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.