Fremont Toyota has agreed to pay $400,000 to settle the harassment and retaliation lawsuit for singling out four Afghani-American salesmen during a staff meeting, referring to them as "terrorists" and threatening them with violence.
A year ago, we wrote about a lawsuit that was filed against Fremont Toyota alleging that Afghani-American employees were harassed by management based on their national origin. The lawsuit was filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of the workers in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
This week, it was reported that Fremont Toyota has agreed to pay $400,000 to settle the harassment and retaliation lawsuit. The lawsuit accused the general manager of the auto dealership of singling out four Afghani-American salesmen during a staff meeting, referring to them as "terrorists" and threatening them with violence.
The general manager was also accused of calling himself the "dictator" of the car dealership, similar to the dictator of Afghanistan. When the salesmen reported the harassment, they are said to have faced retaliation and additional harassment. All four of the workers felt forced to quit. An Afghan-American manager was also fired after he stuck up for the salesmen.
In a press release, the EEOC stressed that it is illegal to harass or discriminate based on national origin under state and federal law. The EEOC said this treatment amounted to a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This case is especially important, the EEOC said, because the Bay Area has the largest Afghan population outside of Afghanistan.
It was reported that the Fremont Toyota dealership agreed to pay the five workers $400,000 and implement anti-harassment and discrimination training of management. The dealership also agreed to post a notice informing other workers of the lawsuit so that everyone is aware that the treatment was against the law.