Harley Davidson Dealer Settles Sex Discrimination Suit

The Dudley Perkins Company, the country's oldest Harley Davidson motorcycle dealership, will pay $55,000 and furnish other relief to settle a sex discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency announced June 7.

EEOC's suit had charged that the San Francisco-based company refused to let a female employee, Bowen Dean, work as a mechanic, while hiring less qualified men. Further, EEOC said, the company fired her after she filed an EEOC sex discrimination charge. EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Case No. C-08-4552-CW) after first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

Through the consent decree settling the suit, the court ordered that Dudley Perkins Co. revise its equal employment policy and complaint procedure; train its staff every year about sex discrimination and retaliation; post a notice stating the terms of the decree and how to complain about discrimination; include in its advertising a statement affirming its commitment not to discriminate based on sex; and report its hiring decisions to EEOC for the decree's two-year term. In addition, the company will pay Dean $55,000 as monetary damages.

"Breaking into jobs in non-traditional fields continues to be a challenge for women, and despite the prohibitions on sex discrimination written into federal law in 1964, some sex segregation in employment continues," said EEOC San Francisco Regional Attorney William R. Tamayo. "This settlement will help the motorcycle industry take a step forward."

EEOC San Francisco District Director Michael Baldonado added, "Traditionally male occupations generally pay more than fields which are traditionally female, and women continue to be excluded from those positions all too often. Working in a non-traditional field is not easy, and we encourage women who believe they are experiencing discrimination to come to the EEOC for assistance."

According to its website, http://dpchd.com, Dudley Perkins is a full-service Harley Davidson dealership, offering motorcycle sales, parts, and accessories, and service since 1914. In addition to its dealership in South San Francisco, the company offers Harley clothing and accessories for sale at its Fisherman's Wharf retail store.

EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information about the agency is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.

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