Partners Christian V. McOmber and Peter D. Valenzano represent Jannelly Peralta and Yusuf Rimawi in a two (2) plaintiff harassment and discrimination claim against Route 23 Auto Mall in Butler, New Jersey. Named defendants in the lawsuit also include Solomon Faizi, Scott Barna, and Jason McKweon, who are managers at the dealership.
The complaint alleges that Ms. Peralta was subjected to sexual harassment and national-origin discrimination while employed at Route 23 Auto Mall. Specifically, employees and managers openly engaged in hypersexualized banter about various sex acts, blow-up dolls, and other inappropriate sexual topics. Ms. Peralta further alleges that Mr. Faizi, her direct supervisor, would routinely refer to female subordinates as “whores” and would make inappropriate comments about Ms. Peralta’s body. Additionally, Mr. Faizi would leer at Ms. Peralta and ask her inappropriate questions such as what kind of lubricant she uses, how often she has sex, and how many people she has had sex with. Mr. Faizi’s also openly mocked the mentally disabled and made homophobic and racist comments. Instead of stopping the harassment, Mr. Barna, the President of Route 23 Auto Mall, condoned it – and openly harassed and denigrated female subordinates. Ultimately, Ms. Peralta was retaliated against because of her complaints and terminated from her position in violation of the law.
Mr. Rimawi alleges that he was subjected to blatant religious and national-origin discrimination because of his Islamic faith. In particular, Mr. McKweon, the Used Car Manager of Route 23 Auto Mall, mocked immigrants and made openly racist comments in the workplace, such as “the reason why black people get pulled over more than whites is that they don’t know how to follow the rules.” Mr. McKweon further regularly humiliated Mr. Rimawi on account of his faith by calling Muslims “terrorists,” asking Mr. Rimawi if he “eats goats,” and openly mocking Mr. Rimawi from abstaining from eating pork. Mr. Rimawi also alleges that Route 23 Auto Mall tricked customers into paying an extra $2,500.00 fee for certified pre-owned vehicles – even though the fee was already built into the price. When Mr. Rimawi, who is devoutly religious, refused to participate in this “scam” and complained to management, he was retaliated against and forced from his position.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Passaic County Superior Court, alleges violations of, among other things, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and Retaliation in Violation of Public Policy.
Ms. Peralta and Mr. Rimawi seek compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees and costs.
“This type of behavior alleged in the complaint has no place in a civilized society. The unlawful and discriminatory conduct undertaken by Route 23 Auto Mall against our clients needs to be exposed. We are proud of Ms. Peralta and Mr. Rimawi for their courage in bringing this conduct to light.” Christian V. McOmber, Esq., McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C.