A Brentwood, Tenn., dealership subjected its only female service adviser to "different terms and conditions of employment" than male co-workers and fired her because of her gender, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has charged in a federal lawsuit.
The Sept. 16 civil rights suit accuses Lexus of Cool Springs of firing Heather Peek in July 2017 for "poor attendance" after she took a sick day. The dealership replaced her with a man.
Up until then, Peek — who joined the store in 2004 — was a top producer among service advisers for most months she worked there, the suit says. Peek's problems began in April 2017 when a new male service director wouldn't talk to her, hired two male service advisers and gave them unearned vacation time. The store's only other female service adviser quit shortly thereafter.
Dealership lawyer Chris Anderson, of Nashville, says the store will "vigorously defend" the case and "is committed to holding ourselves to the highest of standards when it comes to treating our team members fairly and equally." The suit is "groundless" and "wrong on both the facts and the law," he says.