A California woman who has worked for four California dealerships owned by AutoNation Inc. has sued the company and some of its employees, charging them with sexual, racial and religious discrimination and harassment.
Gitta Keith, who lives in Alameda County, charges that she was denied promotions and ridiculed because she is Jewish and a woman.
Her complaint, filed Feb. 11 in the Superior Court of California, says AutoNation's local and regional management and human resources department failed to act on her repeated complaints.
AutoNation spokesman Oscar Suris says the company does not comment on pending legal cases.
In her complaint, Keith says that between 1999 and the present, she worked for four dealerships: Auto West Dodge-Chrysler-Isuzu in Fremont; Hayward Toyota in Hayward; Auto West Honda Fremont in Fremont; and Anderson Chevrolet-Chrysler in Cupertino.
Keith alleges in her complaint that she was ridiculed by some managers as having a "fat ass" and was told women should be home, not in business. Her complaint says other employees sent her pornographic e-mail.
Keith also claims that a general sales manager told her that "he jumped for joy every time an Israeli was killed." After terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center in New York on Sept. 11, 2001, she says, co-workers from Afghanistan and Pakistan laughed and said they viewed the attack as a rebuke to the United States for supporting Israel. For several days, the complaint says, the employees joked, imitating the sound of planes flying into buildings.