Car dealer settles with Ore. AG

Bryan Cohen Mar. 5, 2012, 1:36pm


SALEM, Ore. (Legal Newsline) - Oregon Attorney General John Kroger announced a civil rights agreement on Friday with a Salem-based used car dealer and its owner for allegedly discriminating based on nationality.

Jesse & Sons and owner Jesse Ephrem agreed to pay $10,000 to a Salem couple to resolve the allegations of discrimination.

Kroger's office received a complaint filed by a Hispanic couple that purchased a used vehicle from the dealership. Upon attempting to return the vehicle, the defendants allegedly asked them if they had a green card and made threats about their legal status.

"My office will not tolerate businesses that discriminate against anyone because of their national origin, or for any other illegal reason," Kroger said.

Civil rights law in Oregon prohibits conduct by any public accommodation or business that restricts, distinguishes or otherwise discriminates against a person based on their national origin, race, color or other protected class.

Under the terms of the agreement and judgment of confession, Ephrem will pay $10,000 to Alejandro Soto and his spouse for damages resulting from the alleged discrimination. If Ephrem fails to pay the monetary damages according to the schedule, the judgment will be filed in Marion County Circuit Court.

The defendants also agreed to injunctive relief and must take part in anti-discrimination training sponsored by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. In addition, Ephrem must tell all of his employees about the agreement and refrain from any further discrimination in the future. If Ephrem fails to abide by any of the non-monetary terms of the agreement, Kroger's office will file a lawsuit for breach of contract.

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