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Alvarado and Alvarado v. 2000 Auto Sales, Inc. d/b/a Smith Haven Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, and Chris Markakis, individually Case No.: 2:18-cv-02370

DiscriminationNew Collective Action filed in the Eastern District of New York
Alvarado and Alvarado v. 2000 Auto Sales, Inc. d/b/a Smith Haven Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, and Chris Markakis, individually Case No.: 2:18-cv-02370

On April 23, 2018, Plaintiffs filed a civil action against their employer, 2000 Auto Sales Inc. d/b/a Smith Haven Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram and Chris Markakis, individually, seeking redress for Defendants’ race and national origin discrimination, in the form of a hostile work environment and disparate treatment, which led to the constructive termination of Plaintiffs’ employment. The complaint alleges as follows:

Plaintiffs, two brothers who are both Hispanic and from Guatemala, began working for Defendants - a company that sells and services new and pre-owned vehicles at multiple car dealerships and the preparation manager and day-to-day overseer of the dealership located in St. James, New York - around June 2014 and July 2014. Plaintiffs worked as detailers and polishers, who prepared incoming vehicles to be sold or leased. Around February 2016, a newly-hired mechanic at the dealership, Neil, began making discriminatory comments to Plaintiffs regarding their race and national origin in front of Defendant Markakis, Plaintiffs’ supervisor, one of which was video-recorded. For example, Neil greeted Plaintiffs with “What’s up immigrants?” and “Good morning, go back to your country.” Neil continued to ask Plaintiffs demeaning questions on a daily basis, including, but not limited to: “Are you legal?” and “What will you do if Trump wins?” Although Defendant Markakis was present during many, if not all, of these occasions, at no point did he attempt to stop Neil’s comments or behavior. Instead, Markakis sat idly and laughed.

Further exacerbating the matter, Defendant Markakis would send Hispanic detailers and polishers, including Plaintiffs, outside to do their work in inclement weather, while during those same times, he permitted Caucasian detailers and polishers to work indoors. Additionally, he regularly assigned the Hispanic employees to more difficult tasks, such as polishing and detailing older and dirtier vehicles. In comparison, Markakis assigned the Caucasian employees to vehicles that required minimal detailing, and thus minimal time and physical effort. Realizing that this was not a coincidence, in July 2016, one of the Alvarado brothers asked Markakis why this unequal treatment occurred, to which Markakis simply replied: “Whites have to stay inside.”

As if all of the above was not enough, over time, Markakis went from simply laughing at Neil’s repugnant comments to joining Neil in making discriminatory remarks. On several occasions during the summer of 2016, Markakis commented that “Hispanics are like animals, they are good for work.” As a result of this discriminatory treatment and conduct, all taken with the approval of Markakis, both Alvarado brothers resigned by early September 2016. To do otherwise meant continuing to report to a job where race and/or national origin discrimination is condoned, and where Markakis and Neil were free to continue discriminating against Plaintiffs. Defendants violated Plaintiffs’ rights guaranteed to them by the anti-race discrimination provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and the New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”); the anti-national origin discrimination provisions of Title VII and of the NYSHRL; and the anti-aiding and abetting provisions of the NYSHRL.

If any individual is or has previously been an employee for the Defendants named in the lawsuit and has information that may be relevant to this case, please contact Borrelli & Associates, P.L.L.C. as soon as possible through one of our websites, www.employmentlawyernewyork.com or www.516abogado.com, or any of our phone numbers: (516) 248 – 5550, (516) ABOGADO, or (212) 679 – 5000.

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