HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) — James Mitsubishi Hamburg is being sued by a federal agency.
According to the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the general manager of the dealership in Hamburg, who also manages dealerships in Rome and Greece, made unwanted sexual advances and comments to two female employees.
The agency says the manager repeatedly stared at and made comments about the women’s bodies, and asked them to join him in his hotel room.
Along with that, they say the manager mimed sex acts in front of one of the women and told her that he imagined waking up next to her in bed.
The EEOC says there was unwelcome physical contact, as well, including massages.
The manager’s behavior was well-known throughout the dealership, the lawsuit says. The Vice President of Human Resources knew about it, too, and even witnessed and encouraged it, according to the lawsuit.
Judy Keenan, director of the EEOC’s New York District Office, said, “No employee should be forced to choose between enduring sexual advances and comments and earning a living. Ending sexual harassment in the workplace remains a priority for the EEOC.”
Eventually, one of the employees was forced to quit after the dealership took no action to stop the alleged harassment.
The EEOC is seeking compensatory and punitive damages the employees, back pay for the women who resigned and injunctive relief to prevent future sexual harassment in the workplace.
“Employers who are aware of sexual harassment in the workplace have a legal obligation to quickly end it,” said Jeffrey Burstein, regional attorney for the EEOC’s New York District Office. “The EEOC will continue to take action against businesses who fail to protect their employees from unlawful harassment.”