A former manager at Robert Brogden's Olathe Buick-GMC near Kansas City, Kan., is suing the dealership, alleging it retaliated against him for reporting colleagues' usage of racial slurs.
The lawsuit, filed in Johnson County District Court on May 31, names Jude Boliere, a 60-year-old Black man, as the plaintiff.
He alleges that he was subjected to discrimination based on his race and age and that he faced disciplinary action upon reporting it.
According to the lawsuit, Boliere began working at the dealership as a manager in September 2020 but was demoted to salesperson after two months because "the dealership could not afford to continue to pay him a manager salary because November was a slow month." The lawsuit alleges a younger white manager was hired in October 2020 and given a higher starting salary than Boliere.
The lawsuit also claims that following Boliere's demotion, the dealership hired several more younger white managers between November 2020 and April 2021.
During Boliere's time as a salesperson, the lawsuit says, his colleagues called him profanities and racial slurs during a disagreement.
In December 2020, the lawsuit says, Boliere filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging a hostile work environment. He also allegedly reported the treatment to dealership management and informed them he filed the charge with EEOC.
In January 2021, the lawsuit alleges, the store's general manager called Boliere the N-word while in a meeting with two of his colleagues. The suit claims Boliere reported the slur but no action was taken.
A month later, Boliere requested to be transferred but was denied by the company, the suit says.
In May 2021, Boliere was fired after an alleged confrontation with another salesperson regarding the sale of a vehicle, according to the suit.
The lawsuit alleges that the management team "conspired with employees to make false allegations against [Boliere] in an effort to either fire Mr. Boliere or get him to quit his employment."
Boliere is seeking a jury trial and compensation for the wages he lost as a result of the termination.
The dealership declined to comment on the lawsuit when asked Tuesday afternoon. Boliere's attorney did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.