TAMPA — A Tampa automotive group faces a lawsuit from the federal government for allegedly failing to promote a qualified female employee nine times for a management position.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Ferman Automotive Group and Cigar City Motors, which own and operate Tampa Harley-Davidson and other dealerships, continuously promoted males to open general manager positions even though a female candidate who kept expressing interest in the openings was more qualified. The dealership also required the female to participate in a specific program without requiring male candidates to do the same, the EEOC said.
"Although Title VII was passed more than 50 years ago, women nationwide continue to be passed over for promotion because of their sex or gender," EEOC Miami District Office regional attorney Robert Weisberg said in a statement. "This contributes to the gender wage gap and affects a woman's ability to provide for themselves and their families. The law is clear-employers cannot discriminate on the basis of sex and they must provide a level playing field for all employees to compete for management positions."
"The EEOC has long fought to protect women from hitting the glass ceiling in all professions and from the outdated stereotypes about women in leadership which continue to persist," added EEOC Tampa field director Evangeline Hawthorne.