Car Dealer Insider Mar 15, 2006
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Car Dealer Insider Mar 15, 2006

How to avoid an EEOC investigation

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How to avoid an EEOC investigation

This could happen to you: Lithia Motors agreed to settle charges brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) by paying $360,000 to an Iranian car salesman who says he was called a "terrorist" and "camel jockey" by management at a one of Lithia's Oregon dealerships, according to published reports.

Here are some statistics that should get car dealers thinking. Last year, the EEOC received over 79,000 complaints of employment discrimination and recovered more than $250 million in back wages for the aggrieved employees through settlements, mediation, and other administrative settlements.

And, these numbers don't include the litigation the EEOC initiated on behalf of complaining employees. The EEOC pursued 378 cases in court and collected about $168 million to resolve them. Employees alleged in these claims all forms of employment discrimination (race, sex, national origin, religion, age, and disability) involving such issues as hiring, termination, promotion, and leaves.

EEOC complaints can take months, and even years, to resolve and can tie up dealership staff and divert attention from other pressing projects. Further, even if the agency dismisses a complaint, the employees can still file a lawsuit in court. Under these circumstances, an ounce of prevention can go a long way to protect your store from the fallout of EEOC problems.

What the EEOC actually does The EEOC is the independent agency created by Congress to enforce federal employment discrimination laws. It has the authority to receive, initiate, and investigate charges of discrimination involving employers subject to these laws. Employees who believe they have been discriminated against generally must file a formal written complaint with the EEOC (or comparable state or local agency) before they may bring a discrimination lawsuit for damages or... (283 of 1132 words)

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