Chicago Kia dealership owner allegedly mocked employee for sexual orientation, disability

By Mark Iandolo | Oct 23, 2017

CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a lawsuit Oct. 5 against Evergreen Kia, a car dealership in Chicago, for allegations of subjecting an employee to harassment because of his sexual orientation and disability.

"This employer's conduct violated two major federal disability laws," said Julianne Bowman, EEOC's district director in Chicago. "No employee should be forced to work in conditions experienced by this salesperson."

According to the EEOC, the salesperson was gay and suffered from Crohn’s disease. The dealership’s owner purportedly directed homophobic slurs at the salesperson and mocked his disability. The EEOC seeks monetary relief for the salesperson and injunctive relief against the dealership to prevent further discrimination.

"Employers must be mindful that sex harassment includes harassment because of an employee's sexual orientation. The harassment he faced - and by the company's owner, no less - is unacceptable and unlawful,” said Gregory Gochanour, EEOC's regional attorney in Chicago. “The EEOC will vigorously enforce federal anti-discrimination law to ensure that employees are not faced with harassment because of their orientation or their disability, and that their employers are held accountable."

EEOC’s Chicago District oversees agency operations in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and North Dakota and South Dakota, with area offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.

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