A Winnipeg car dealership is being sued by two women who allege they were fired after they reported harassment, threats and sexual harassment to the dealership’s management. The dealership, Vickar Mitsubishi, is being accused of ignoring the women’s complaints.
The two women filed the lawsuit on July 26 and August 4, stating that they worked in a “sexually toxic workplace.”
One of the women, a former manager, filed her lawsuit against the company on July 26 in the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Beach. The lawsuit names the dealership, a salesman and two male managers. She states that she had a ribbon wrapped around her throat by a supervisor who later made lewd comments to her.
The lawsuit mentions another encounter where a manager blocked the women in an office and made sexual advancements to her.
The same man is being accused of putting his hands up her dress and pulling at her waistline. He is also accused of asking the woman if she wore panties on regular occasions and made comments about her body in public.
Sexual harassment is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. More than 40 years have gone by since the Act was passed, yet men and women continue to suffer, on a regular basis, from sexual harassment in all types of workplaces.
Victor Bargen is representing both women against the car dealership.
Bargen states that the allegations against the defendants include rubbing the woman’s buttocks, rubbing, touching, grabbing and other forms of lewd conduct. The two women remain unnamed at this time.
The women allege that the same manager continued with his lewd comments and touching.
Bargen states that the repetitive conduct is the reason the women decided to file a lawsuit against the dealership. The woman was also fearful for her daughter, according to court documents. The documents state that a salesman made comments about the woman’s daughter, stating “so she looks good.”
The salesman is accused of making sexual remarks to the woman while rubbing her upper back, shoulders and neck.
The additional lawsuit filed against the dealership names the company’s president and the same manager as defendants.
Vickar states that the company acted quickly to address the complaints from the women. The company alleges that the incident led to the manager leaving the company and changes to practices inside of the company.
The company also started to incorporate diversity training sessions into their training to teach employees how to properly act in the workplace.