After Allegations of Threatening Afghan-American Employees, Toyota Dealership Settles Lawsuit

A Toyota car dealership has agreed to pay $400,000 to settle an employee discrimination lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity commission (EECOC), according to an EEOC press release. The dealership has also agreed to implement staff training to avoid future complaints.

The EEOC, a federal agency responsible for enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws in the workplace, charged that Fremont Toyota’s general manager subjected four Afghan-American sales employees to harassment and threats.

At a staff meeting, he allegedly called the four “terrorists” and made violent threats against them. The four sales people allegedly suggested additional verbal harassment and extra job scrutiny after reporting the alleged initial incident. The sales employees eventually resigned. An Afghan-American manager was also allegedly fired after speaking out for the four employees.

"The whole $400,000 goes to the victims," said EEOC attorney Jonathan Peck. "When we litigate, we try to develop remedies for individuals and make sure that policies are put in place so these acts don't happen again."

“The irony of this matter is that, after being labeled ‘terrorists’ at our old job, most of us found work with the U.S. military serving in Afghanistan protecting U.S. soldiers from the terrorists,” said Mohamed Sawary, one of the four salespeople.

“We hope this settlement makes more people in the Afghan community aware of their rights and how the EEOC can protect them as we continue our outreach to underserved communities.” Baldonado said that the Fremont, Calif. area has the largest Afghan community outside of Afghanistan.