A Florida dealership agreed to pay $150,000 to a former assistant parts manager who wasn't considered for promotion because she is a woman.
The settlement prohibits AutoNation Chevrolet Coral Gables and a second dealership owned by the group, Mercedes-Benz of Miami, from "failing to consider and/or hire women for management positions in the parts and service departments. Their hiring processes, decisions and conditions and terms of employment shall be maintained and conducted in a manner that does not discriminate on the basis of sex."
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the gender discrimination suit on behalf of Jacqueline de la Torre, alleging the Chevrolet store hired a "less-qualified male" as parts manager without giving her a chance to apply "and required de la Torre to train him."
She worked there from 1996 to 2013, rising from "a clerical position to assistant parts manager," the EEOC said.
The suit claimed the store's general manager "handpicked" a male salesman who had never been an assistant parts manager. When she complained, she was told the position "needed a man" even though upper management admitted she was best qualified, the EEOC said.
In court filings, the dealership denied discriminating, but acknowledged de la Torre "performed successfully in different jobs."
The settlement requires the stores' general managers to give annual live executive messages to personnel about nondiscrimination and diversity in employment. Annual training about sex-neutral and nondiscriminatory recruiting, interviewing, hiring and training will be mandatory for all parts and service department employees.
EEOC attorney Kimberly Cruz said the Mercedes-Benz store was included "to ensure the significant injunctive relief in the consent decree reached management and employees working in high-volume parts departments in the South Florida market." She told Fixed Ops Journal that the EEOC can't discuss whether any complaints had been filed against that store.
Both dealerships are carrying out the settlement, said Marc Cannon, AutoNation's chief marketing officer.