Landers Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram of Norman, in Oklahoma, faces a lawsuit from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over allegations the dealership did not hire a salesperson because of her gender.
The suit was filed Sept. 11 in the Western District Court of Oklahoma on behalf of Mina Davari, who worked at David Stanley Chrysler from July 2016 until it was sold to Landers Chrysler of Norman in 2017. The EEOC enforces federal laws preventing hiring discrimination.
Davari said in the suit that she overheard a manager, during the ownership transition, say to another manager, "This is not a lady's job yet."
Davari was the only female sales associate at David Stanley, the suit said. "The comment referred to her."
The EEOC is seeking monetary damages for Davari and training on anti-discrimination laws for Landers, among other requirements, the agency said in a press release last week.
"Making hiring decisions based on sex is not only unlawful, it's bad business," L. Jack Vasquez Jr., director of the EEOC's St. Louis District Office, said in the release.
The purchase agreement stated Landers Chrysler "had the right, but no obligation, to offer employment to David Stanley employees," according to the lawsuit. "Davari and other sales staff were told by David Stanley managers ... that they would remain employed" and were "part of the sales deal."
The suit claims Landers Chrysler provided Davari and other sales staff with new-hire paperwork, including insurance information and payroll orientation.
Davari said that on April 10, 2017, she was approached by a new general manager of Landers and an unknown man who told her she did "not have any place in Landers's organization" and to gather her things and go. Davari said her customer service award was missing, and the man told her, "We trashed it."
Davari said in the suit that Landers would not provide an explanation for her termination.
Landers Chrysler did not respond requests for comment by Automotive News.