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Texas Car Dealership Settles Discrimination Lawsuit for $145K *Centurion Insurance AFS*

Feb 20, 2024 (0) comment , , , , , , , , ,


An Amarillo, Texas-based car dealership will pay $145,000 and furnish other relief to settle an age and disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, an employee who had been employed with Pete’s Car Smart for nearly 18 years underwent bypass heart surgery in early 2021, requiring a brief medical leave of absence. In the days leading up to her return from leave, the owner of the company told the employee she needed to retire, or she would be fired, because he did not feel she could do her job any longer. He also made comments about her gray hair and “old-timers disease” and told her in a disparaging tone that she was old enough to be his mother.

Such alleged conduct violates both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination based on disability, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which prohibits discrimination based on age. The EEOC filed suit, Civil Action No. 2:23-cv-00092-Z-BR, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Amarillo Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its informal conciliation process.

Under the terms of the three-year consent decree secured by the EEOC to resolve the case, Pete’s Car Smart not only agreed to pay monetary damages to its former employee but will also provide significant non-monetary relief designed to ensure equal employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities and to applicants and employees over 40 years of age.

Pete’s Car Smart will also create and distribute new protocols for requesting reasonable accommodations and reporting discrimination. Further, the dealership commits to train all employees annually regarding the specific new protocols and about employment discrimination laws that govern the workplace. Pete’s Car Smart’s owner will also take part in the training to be conducted by a third party.

Source: EEOC


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