EEOC Wins Case against Hot Wheel City
After winning the lawsuit against Hot Wheel City, the sexual harassment attorney for the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Nedra Campbell said that the Detroit based automotive wheel and accessory store chain would bring in the required changes in its sexual harassment and discrimination policies that would benefit its employees.
Hot Wheel City was in the line of fire after a female employee complained of sexual harassment and was subsequently fired in retaliation and $20,000 compensation has been ordered by the court, which the company has agreed to pay. The lawsuit was filed in US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan by EEOC after attempts to resolve the issue at a pre-trial failed.
EEOC to monitor training and compliance
The EEOC would monitor the compliance of the terms of the seven year consent decree issued by the court which requires Hot Wheel City to not only institute new discrimination policies and conduct periodic training twice a year on sexual harassment, but also to provide the training reports to the EEOC.
Hot Wheel City has been in the business of providing wheels, rims and accessories since 1995. It has six retail stores in Detroit metro area and in Toledo, Ohio.
The EEOC was established by the Congress in 1964, to enforce the work place anti-discrimination laws, and would celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act in July this year. The EEOC has a success rate of 47% in invoking a systemic change as far as discrimination at workplace is concerned, according to sexual harassment attorneys.
Former employee wins harassment lawsuit against AutoZone
In another sexual harassment lawsuit that was won by the plaintiff, Luis Sandoval was awarded $20,000 as compensation. The lawsuit was filed by Sandoval against AutoZone, an automotive retailer in San Diego and throughout the nation.
He worked at the Chula Vista store, where the harassment began in 2010. He said that his supervisor came behind him and grabbed his buttocks when he was helping a customer.
The plaintiff said that he told the supervisor who he accused of repeatedly slapping him on the buttocks that such touches were not welcome and asked him to stop doing this, but the touches continued. The plaintiff said that he complained of this matter to the store manager and the regional managers. Although the regional managers interviewed him, Sandoval said that they did not look like they believed his version of the story. On the contrary, the regional manager repeatedly asked him if he was sure it was not just a love tap, according to Sandoval. As if a love tap is OK?!
AutoZone has some issues
The same regional managers were also involved in another sexual harassment case earlier, when AutoZone was in the news for demoting and firing a pregnant employee, who managed its store in National City. The employee, Rosario Juarez, was awarded more than $185 million after she filed a pregnancy discrimination suit. What happened to Juarez was wrong but this is a physically demanding job and is this a safe environment for a pregnant mother? These employees often have to walk outside and help customers with their cars such as changing out windshield wipers and lifting car batteries and so on.
AutoZone is appealing because that amount is far too high and if they had to pay it they may have to close several stores and lay off hundreds of employees. That is a big loss for a retail chain in a poor economy. Juarez was also granted $872,000 in compensatory damages which will last her for the rest of her life and even help her children’s children out.
Difficult work, difficult job
Sexual harassment attorneys for the plaintiff stated that AutoZone did not try to get the video from the surveillance cameras to verify Sandoval’s complaint which is not right. They should also find the video that shows the heavy lifting these retail positions entail and extra help these employees must show to customers to run this store.
It is too bad both sides just cannot come to an agreement without so much division.