EEOC files racial discrimination suit against Salisbury Motor Co.

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit Wednesday claiming Salisbury Motor Co. violated federal law by subjecting a black employee to a racially hostile work environment and different terms and conditions of employment. And, the EEOC alleges in a press release about the lawsuit, the company fired the man for complaining.
From November 2005 until June 2008, Glenn Bailey was subjected to “unwelcome derogatory racial slurs including the ‘N-word’ by Salisbury Motor’s owners and upper management,” the press release said. The EEOC also contends in its complaint that Bailey, who worked as a car detailer, was subjected to different terms and conditions of employment than his white co-workers.
The EEOC alleges that Bailey was required to perform various non-job-related demeaning tasks and personal errands for company officials, including cleaning a chicken coop filled with dead chickens on the manager’s property, packing and moving household items for the manager’s daughter, and cleaning spots from the carpet and pulling weeds at the dealership.
According to the EEOC, white employees were not required to perform the tasks and management at Salisbury Motor Co. threatened to fire Bailey if he refused to perform them. When Bailey complained, he was fired, the EEOC alleges.
“The evidence presented to the EEOC indicates that Salisbury Motor Co.’s owners and upper management required Mr. Bailey to perform demeaning and subservient tasks because he is black, and in order to keep his job he had to comply,” said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte District Office. “It is this agency’s mission to eliminate discrimination in the workplace and we will vigorously prosecute cases like this.”
The press release said the EEOC filed suit after trying to reach a settlement. The agency seeks back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, and injunctive relief for Bailey.
Bailey was not listed in the Rowan County white pages. A call to the Charlotte EEOC district office was not returned Wednesday.
Donald Clement IV, general manager of Salisbury Motor Co., declined to comment on the lawsuit.