DENVER (CBS4) – A federal agency has filed a lawsuit charging a Denver metro area auto dealership with violating federal law by creating a sexually and racially hostile workplace environment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission took legal action Sept. 30 against Christopher’s Dodge Ram of Golden and its ownership, Chris the Crazy Trader, Inc.
In a detailed complaint obtained by CBS4, the agency alleges that a number of the dealership’s employees and managers made sexual comments or behaved inappropriately in the presence of female employees.
EEOC began an investigation into the dealership’s workplace after harassment claims were submitted by two former dealership employees.
The first woman was hired as an internet salesperson in November 2017. Throughout the next year, she was subjected to weekly comments from one manager who asked about her sex life with her husband and whether she wanted to have sex with a Black male co-worker, she claimed. Inappropriate touching from that same manager started just weeks after her hiring and continued regularly. Other co-workers called her names, she claimed, and talked about their sexual relations in her presence.
The second woman witnessed a manager watching pornography on his computer, according to the complaint. Afterward, he cornered her in a room and made inappropriate comments.
Both women were dismissed from their employment after complaining to the dealership’s upper management.
Additionally, according to the EEOC, other Christopher’s Dodge Ram employees also made derogatory and racially offensive comments, including use of the N-word and the word “beaners.”
The EEOC alleges that Christopher’s Dodge Ram knew about the harassment but failed to act and allowed it to worsen.
Amy Burkholder, the field director of the EEOC’s Denver field office, stated in an EEOC press release, “The Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it clear: Employers must remedy and prevent racially and sexually hostile work environments.”
The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
CBS4 reached out to the dealership but has yet to receive a response. This story will be updated if and when one is received.