A manager at a Portland car dealership is being sued for race-based harassment and retaliation for allegedly calling Latino customers and employees “lazy Mexicans,” “beaners,” “wetbacks,” and “taco-eaters.”
The March 29 suit, filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, names Courtesy Ford and new car sales manager Michael Weber as defendants. In the suit, former sales representative Joseph King alleges Weber repeatedly made racist comments to his employees and customers. King alleges he was fired in 2011 after Weber found out about his complaints. He’s seeking $150,000 in economic damages and $400,000 for emotional distress.
King says in the suit that he has Latino children, making him sensitive to the alleged racist remarks.
King also says that he complained to upper management about crass behavior from a general sales manager and other employees, who allegedly formed a circle around a female customer, stared her down and made sexist comments.
After King complained to upper management, the suit says, the sales manager told a co-worker that he wanted to “gut [King] like a fish."
King was fired by Weber three weeks after meeting with the assistant district manager about his allegations.
Weber and Courtesy Ford declined to comment on the case.