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Illinois car dealership to pay $100K for bias against Arab Muslim workers


An Illinois car dealership has been ordered to pay $100,000 to resolve a national origin and religious discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in which it was charged with subjecting three Arab Muslim employees to a hostile work environment.

The EEOC charged that Tinley Park, Illinois-based Rizza Buick GMC Cadillac Inc. violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by subjecting the employees to a hostile work environment.

Rizza’s managers allegedly used offensive slurs and made “mocking and insulting references” to the Quran and the manner in which Muslims pray, said John Rowe, the director of the EEOC’s Chicago district office in a statement.

“Such hostile conduct is both the worst type of negative stereotyping on the basis of national origin and religion and exactly what Title VII was designed to remedy,” John Hendrickson, the EEOC’s Chicago district regional attorney, said in the statement. Protecting all employees — whether Arab or Muslim or any other national origin or religion — from such harassment is at the heart of our statutory mission.”

Under terms of a consent decree entered by the U.S. District Court in Chicago, Rizza Cadillac will take affirmative steps to ensure a change in the work environment, including providing training to all employees regarding compliance with Title VII, in addition to the affected employees sharing the $100,000 in monetary relief.

The dealership’s attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.