The EEOC is suing Shack-Findlay Automotive, LLC doing business as Findlay Honda and Findlay Automotive Group, Inc. for allegedly subjecting its black employees to discrimination, retaliation, and a hostile work environment in which one manager forced a black employee to get on his knees and beg for his job in front of other workers.
A parts department manager, who is white, referred to at least two black employees with the “N-word,” making racially derogatory comments and jokes on a near daily basis at Findlay’s dealership in Henderson, Nevada. The same manager referred to one employee as a “gorilla” while the employee was holding a banana.
The EEOC contends that the manager also imposed stricter work-related rules upon the dealership’s black employees, including Sydney Robinson and Jason Grinstead, disciplining them for conduct that non-black employees were not disciplined for, and giving them less favorable work assignments. Ultimately, both Robinson and Grinstead were terminated.
According to the Las Vegas Sun:
Robinson, in a lawsuit filed in Clark County District Court in January, alleged he was discriminated against while working as a driver for Shack-Findlay Automotive at its dealership on Auto Show Drive in Henderson.
Robinson said in the lawsuit he was a driver for the dealership from July 2003 through January 2008 and that beginning in June 2007 his supervisor Michael Austin repeatedly addressed him with an “egregious racial slur.”
Robinson alleged he and another black driver had been told they would be fired if they received two customer complaints and that this rule didn’t apply to employees of other races.
After receiving a customer complaint, Austin told Robinson the complaint would “go away” if Robinson got on his knees and begged for his job in an open area visible to co-workers, the lawsuit alleged. This alleged begging incident is not mentioned in the EEOC lawsuit.
Robinson in the January lawsuit said he had a knee condition and it was painful for him to kneel on a hard surface, but Austin said he was not joking so Robinson “relented, kneeled and begged defendant Austin for his job.”