Tinley Park dealership settles EEOC complaint
By Mike Nolan email@example.com June 26, 2014 7:24PM
Rizza Buick-GMC-Cadillac in Tinley Park has agreed to pay $100,000 to three former employees who the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission say in a lawsuit were subjected to a hostile work environment. | File photo
Updated: July 28, 2014 6:17AM
A Tinley Park car dealership has agreed to pay $100,000 to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit filed in September by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The EEOC had alleged that three Arab Muslim employees of Rizza Buick-GMC-Cadillac were subjected to a hostile work environment. The employees filed complaints with the commission, alleging that managers used ethnic slurs against them and made mocking and insulting references to the Quran.
Some of the offensive comments were made in front of other managers, Rizza ownership and customers of the dealership, the EEOC said in its lawsuit, which was resolved via a consent decree signed by a federal judge this week.
The affected employees will share $100,000, and the Rizza dealership, 8425 W. 159th St., must take steps to ensure a change in its work environment, including providing training for all employees, submitting periodic reports to the EEOC about any complaints of ethnic or religious discrimination and posting a notice on the outcome of the lawsuit on its employee bulletin board for two years, the EEOC said.
It said the employees complained to supervisors about the harassment that began in January 2007, but the dealership didn’t act on those complaints.
The EEOC found “reasonable cause” in July 2012 that employees had been subjected to harassment and tried to resolve the matter with Rizza management, the federal agency said. It said that conciliation talks began at that time and continued to January of this year without a suitable settlement being reached.
Besides the EEOC, the employees were also represented by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
The three employees were fired by the dealership prior to the filing of the EEOC lawsuit, according to Kevin Vodak, litigation director for the council.
A message left at the dealership Wednesday seeking comment was not returned.