Birmingham EEOC

Toyota Dealership Settles Harassment and Retaliation Claims with EEOC

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A California Toyota dealership has agreed to pay $400,000 to five former Afghan-American employees who say a manager called them terrorists and threatened them.  According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the general manager of the dealership allegedly called four salesmen names and threatened to blow them up with a grenade in a 2007 staff meeting.  The EEOC further alleged that the Afghan-American salesmen resigned after facing harassment for reporting the abuse and a manager was also fired for complaining.

This settlement shows that businesses are taking a large financial risk when they do not strictly enforce polices that prevent harassment and discrimination in the workplace.  Our law firm continues to represent workers in claims before the EEOC for race and gender discrimination, sexual harassment, wage and hour claims throughout the State of Alabama.  If you believe you have suffered discrimination or retaliation in the workplace, please contact us at (205) 358-3100 for a free consultation.

How do I make a complaint of discrimination against my employer?

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This is one of the most common questions an employment lawyer receives.  The answer varies depending on the situation, however, a couple of common routes typically apply.

If your employer has provided you with an employee handbook, the process for making a complaint for race, gender, age, or disability discrimination is usually included in the handbook.  At a larger business, there may be a specific person with the Human Resources department who handles all complaints.  However, in a smaller company you may be forced to discuss the issue with your supervisor or the business owner.  If the supervisor is involved in the discrimination or sexual harassment, it is often acceptable to complain to someone at a higher level of authority regarding the actions.

If an internal complaint is not effective in resolving the issue, it is then appropriate to file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (the “EEOC”).  Most employment attorneys are willing to walk you through this process.  If you decide to proceed with your EEOC without an attorney, it is best to contact the agency promptly to avoid being time-barred from a legal remedy.

Normally, charges must be filed with EEOC within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act.  In some jurisdictions, where you are required to file a charge first with the State or other local agency, you may file charges with EEOC within 300 days of the discriminatory act, or 30 days after receiving notice that the state or local agency has terminated its processing of the charge, whichever is earlier.