Car Dealership Pays over $2 Million to Settle Same-Sex Sexual Harassment Suit

Pitre Inc., an Albuquerque car dealership, has agreed to settle a same-sex sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed on behalf of over 50 workers for over $2 million dollars. In the lawsuit, the employees charged a former lot manager, under the direction of the dealership's general manager, with subjecting a class of men to egregious forms of sexual harassment, including shocking sexual comments, frequent solicitations for oral sex, and regular touching, grabbing, and biting of male workers on their buttocks and genitals. They also alleged that the manager retaliated against male employees who objected to the sexually hostile work environment. During the pendency of the lawsuit, the retaliatory actions of the Company raised such concern that a U.S. District Court judge granted a preliminary injunction  prohibiting the dealership and all of its agents from threatening or engaging in retaliatory actions against case participants. In case you were wondering -- Yes, such an injunction is pretty unusual.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, which includes harassment of individuals of the same sex. When an employer disciplines, terminates, or takes other punitive measures against an employee for objecting to workplace discrimination, the employer further violates Title VII's anti-retaliation provision.

Here is a copy of the press release.