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Bryant Whitten, LLP

Lawsuit over workplace intimidation ends with big settlement

A car dealership will pay five American workers of Afghan origin almost half a million dollars to resolve a discrimination lawsuit. The supervisor at the organization labeled the employees as terrorists and intimidated them. He promised retaliation if they reported his actions.

The business must now provide training on employment discrimination to supervisors. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will follow up to ensure the company is treating employees properly. The organization must also publicly post information about the case at their business.

An attorney from the EEOC said the agency looks for solutions to discrimination issues so that the problems do not occur again. He elaborated that the employees could no longer endure the hostile work environment. A representative from the business and the company attorney did not comment on the case.

Problems began at the dealership when four of the men were threatened during a business meeting. The general manager said he would "blow them up with a grenade." They complained about the racially motivated treatment to upper management, who continued to demoralize them. They all left the business at the same time. The fifth man, a manager, stood up for the other four employees. However, he was fired shortly after the four men quit.

Employment discrimination can be based on a variety of factors, such as religion, ethnicity or national origin. The courts closely review the merits of cases of workplace discrimination. They consider the circumstances surrounding each situation as they look at how someone's rights may have been violated.

Source: The Argus, "Fremont car dealership to pay $400,000 to settle discrimination lawsuit," Chris De Benedetti, August 8, 2012

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