Two women were awarded $1.8 million Friday after claiming they faced discrimination while working at Mercedes-Benz of St. Louis, a dealership in St. Louis.
Denise Ligon and Dorothy Robinson were salespeople at the dealership, and said they worked in an unfair work environment that benefited male employees. Ligon began working at the dealership in 2000, and Robinson in 2015, court documents said.
Claims from the two women include sexist remarks, being held back from sales and being required to unfairly split commissions with male employees.
Robinson, who is Black, argued that in addition to sexism, she experienced racism after the company passed her over for promotion in favor of a white man.
Tri-Star Imports Inc., the owner of Mercedes-Benz of St. Louis, denied the allegations in court documents and said the women didn't take advantage of the "preventive or corrective opportunities provided by Tri-Star to avoid harm."
The women reported their conduct to leadership multiple times, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. They were told by dealership president Tom Hennekes on June 1, 2018, that their complaints were being investigated, but did not provide additional information.
The women resigned June 28, 2018, and filed their suit nine months later, according to the Dispatch.
Tri-Star was ordered to pay Ligon and Robinson damages and back pay after a weeklong trial, totaling $870,000 and $940,000, respectively.
According to court documents, a St. Louis company under the name of Tri-Star Imports, Inc. was accused of job discrimination in 2001. It is unclear, due to unavailable records, the details surrounding the case.
Mercedes-Benz of St. Louis did not immediately respond for comment.