Car wash pays $225K to settle claims it failed to promote black workers
- Car Wash Headquarters, doing business as Mister Car Wash and Mister Hotshine, has agreed to pay $225,000 to settle a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) suit alleging that it failed to promote African-American employees to supervisor and management positions.
- The EEOC alleged that Car Wash Headquarters denied qualified black employees promotions in favor of less qualified white workers. According to the commission, black employees also often trained the white workers who became their managers or supervisors.
- In addition to the monetary settlement, Car Wash Headquarters will create a transparent, formal promotion policy and application process; implement new policies and practices to prevent discrimination based on race; provide anti-discrimination training to employees; and train supervisors, among other things.
Training managers and supervisors in nondiscrimination law is critical, experts say. Employers often identify addressing harassment and discrimination as a top priority, but efforts can't end with a one-time training. Compliance training must be ongoing and ingrained in company culture — and it must resonate with employees.
Part of that training can include ways to reduce the impact of bias at work. While bias can never be truly erased, workers can be taught ways to ameliorate its impact by taking time to listen and thinking before acting.
It also can be worth examining who has power in the company (who gets promotions and raises, for example) and who may not. For employers focused on improving diversity, having few leaders who are women or people of color can send a message to those employees that they will not find opportunities within the organization. For that reason, diversity initiatives must include an inclusion component to see success.
Employers also are finding that a standardized review and promotion system can go a long way toward minimizing biases and ensuing that employees are evaluated based on objective criteria.