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Northwest Motorsport to pay $80,000 to settle EEOC harassment lawsuit

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SEATTLE — Puget Sound dealership Northwest Motorsport, Inc. will pay $80,000 to a former employee and provide other relief to resolve a harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

 

The EEOC’s suit charged that, starting in 2009, the general manager of the Puyallup, Wash., used car and truck dealership repeatedly harassed Internet Marketing Manager Bayani Salcedo with graphic sexual comments and derogatory references to Salcedo’s Filipino national origin.  By January 2010, Salcedo felt he had no choice but to resign, the EEOC said. 

Nobody should ever have to put up with such frequent verbal abuse in the workplace,” said Salcedo.  “I'm thankful for all the EEOC has done to resolve this traumatic experience and relieved to finally put this behind me.”

Harassment based on gender and national origin violates Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The EEOC filed the lawsuit (EEOC v. Northwest Motorsport, Inc., 3:12-cv-05728-RJB) in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington after an investigation conducted by EEOC Investigator Valarie Johnson and after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. 

Under the court-enforceable consent decree settling the suit, Northwest Motorsport must revamp its policies and train all managers, supervisors, and employees.  The agency will monitor the company’s compliance with the decree’s terms, which include ensuring effective discipline for wrongdoers and evaluations that measure how well managers carry out the company’s equal employment opportunity and harassment policies.

“Harassment costs companies,” said EEOC Regional Attorney William R. Tamayo.  “There can be a drop in employee productivity; damages and legal fees if the victims pursue legal claims; harm to the company’s reputation; and the loss of community goodwill.  Addressing harassment properly is not only a legal obligation, but also a savvy business practice.  This settlement will provide significant relief for Mr. Salcedo and create a safer work environment for current and future employees.”

EEOC District Director Michael Baldonado added, “Federal law requires employers to stay on the alert for harassment, whether same-sex or opposite-sex, as well for as abuse targeting people for their national origin.  The steps that Northwest Motorsport has agreed to take should send a clear message that such misconduct will not be tolerated in the workplace.”

 

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.  Additional information about the EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.

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