Car-X Truck and Auto Parts Employees Subjected to Physical Abuse and Offensive Verbal Comments, Federal Agency Charges
CHICAGO – Monro, Inc., owner and operator of more than 1,000 auto care locations across the country, will pay $200,000 and provide other relief to resolve a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today. The company operates under several brand names, including Car-X Truck and Auto Parts.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, multiple male employees were subjected to repeated physical abuse and sexual comments by a supervisor and by coworkers at multiple locations in Illinois and Iowa. For example, several employees were forcibly groped in the groin or other private areas and subjected to graphic sexual language in the workplace on multiple occasions.
The EEOC further charged that a female employee was subjected to offensive verbal comments, such as her supervisor addressing her as “woman” instead of by her name throughout her employment. The female employee, an automotive technician, was also given demeaning work assignments, such as cleaning and running personal errands instead of working on cars, because of her sex, according to the EEOC’s suit.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits harassment based on sex. The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (EEOC v. Monro, Inc., Civil Action No. 1:22-cv-00220) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The consent decree resolving the EEOC’s lawsuit requires Monro to pay $200,000 in monetary relief to four former employees. In addition to the monetary relief, the company will also provide specialized training on sexual harassment to all employees at the stores that were the subject of the lawsuit, as well as all managers and human resources personnel who oversee those employees. The decree also requires Monro to post a notice about the lawsuit and report to the EEOC any future complaints of sexual harassment for a period of two years.
“No one should be subjected to the kind of harassment these employees faced,” said Gregory Gochanour, the EEOC’s regional attorney in Chicago. “The EEOC is glad that a fair outcome was reached quickly for the victims, and we expect that this company will pay more attention to protecting all employees from sexual harassment moving forward.”
Julianne Bowman, district director of the EEOC’s office in Chicago, added, “It is unlawful for a company to ignore sexual harassment occurring within the workplace. The EEOC will continue to hold employers accountable when they fail to meet their obligations.”
For more information on sexual harassment, please visit https://www.eeoc.gov/sexual-harassment.
The EEOC’s Chicago District Office is responsible for processing charges of discrimination, administrative enforcement and the conduct of agency litigation in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and North and South Dakota, with Area Offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.