EEOC Sues Oklahoma Powersports Vehicle Retailer for Sex Discrimination
Vicars Powersports, a McAlester, Oklahoma retailer of ATVs, UTVs, dirt bikes, motorcycles and personal watercraft, violated federal law when it fired a female manager because she is a woman, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit.
According to the suit, prior to April 2020, a female employee at Vicars Powersports was performing both finance manager and sales manager duties. She was the only woman working in the sales department. In April 2020, the dealership hired a new general manager and a new finance manager – both men – and took away the woman’s finance manager duties, reducing her role to sales manager. The new male managers immediately began subjecting the female employee to sexually offensive conduct and undermining her management authority.
In August 2020, the dealership abruptly informed the woman that her sales manager position was being eliminated and she was terminated. Soon after, Vicars Powersports posted a message on Facebook announcing a less experienced male employee’s promotion to the woman’s former position.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination because of a person’s sex. The EEOC filed suit (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. V8 Motors LLC d/b/a Vicars Powersports, Civil Action No. 6:23-cv-00299-JAR) in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement via its conciliation process. The EEOC seeks monetary relief and reinstatement for the victim, an order prohibiting future sex discrimination, and other relief.
“Sex discrimination in the workplace has been illegal for almost 60 years,” said Andrea G. Baran, regional attorney for the EEOC’s St. Louis District office. “Unfortunately, bias against female workers persists. When it happens, the EEOC stands ready to help women enjoy the equality and fairness in the workplace to which they are entitled under federal law.”
David Davis, director of the EEOC’s St. Louis District office, said, “Businesses in traditionally male-dominated fields – including motorsports and vehicle sales – must be vigilant to ensure women are not denied equal employment opportunities.”
The EEOC’s St. Louis District Office is responsible for receiving and investigating charges of employment discrimination and conducting agency litigation in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and a portion of southern Illinois, with area offices in Kansas City, Kansas, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
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