Car Dealership Pays $244,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit
Murphy Ford Inc, a car dealership located in Chester, Pennsylvania, will pay $244,000 to settle a Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII") sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit, filed by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). The EEOC alleges that Murphy Ford sexually harassed three female employees and fired one woman for complaining about the unlawful harassment--which constituted retaliation.
According to the lawsuit which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the dealership's service manager sexually harassed Cynthia Bell and other female employees in the service department which included sexually explicit comments, references to oral sex and grabbing his private parts in their presence. Bell repeatedly made complaints to the owner and dealership management, however, Murphy Ford did nothing to stop the harassment and retaliated against Bell by suddenly firing her.
According to Debra Lawrence according regional EEOC attorney:
"This case should remind employers that they have an obligation to take prompt and effective measures to stop harassment in the workplace. If the employer instead does the wrong thing and terminates an employee who complains about harassment, then the EEOC will take action."
According to the settlement, 08-cv-1235, Bell and her attorneys will receive $244,000, and Murphy Ford is mandated to train managers and supervisors on Title VII's legal requirements annually.