Former employee sues Elmhurst car dealership, alleging unequal pay and use of racial slurs

2 years ago, Ed Napleton dealership paid $10M to settle lawsuit alleging higher fees for Black customers than white ones

Michelle Gallardo Image
Monday, February 26, 2024
Car dealership sued over alleged unequal pay, use of racial slurs
Two years ago, the Ed Napleton Kia dealership paid $10M to settle a lawsuit alleging they charged higher fees for Black customers than white ones.

ELMHURST, Ill. (WLS) -- The dealership named in the complaint is the same one that, just two years, ago paid out $10 million to settle a lawsuit brought against it by the Federal Trade Commission and the Illinois Attorney General's Office, which at the time, claimed the dealer charged its Black customers higher fees than their white ones.

Andre Jennings is living in a homeless shelter with his 5-year-old daughter and his fiancée. It's not where this former auto dealership worker expected to find himself after being fired from his job as a salesperson at Ed Napleton's Elmhurst Imports Kia Dealership back in April of 2022. He is now suing the dealer for racial discrimination.

"Lost my house. I lost my house. I lost my car. Everything," Jennings said.

The lawsuit, filed back in September of last year, alleges that Jennings, who worked at the dealer for around three and a half years, was routinely referred to by a racial slur by his supervisor at the dealership and that he was paid less than his white colleagues.

"He would tell me straight up, 'Take this deal back to finance my N***.' And this would happen quite often," Jennings said.

SEE ALSO | Edward Napleton Jr., son of Napleton Auto Group president, allegedly had sex with unconscious woman, police say

Jennings attorney is calling on the dealership to, among other things, make their former employee whole by paying out back pay he has lost since losing his job.

"We have several employees past and current employees, who are deemed, who are identified as African-Americans, who now either want to join this lawsuit or start their own," said Hall-Jackson & Associates Attorney Chiquita Hall-Jackson.

Because this particular dealership has previously been the subject of a racial discrimination lawsuit filed against it by the Illinois Attorney General's Office, during which it was forced to pay out $10 million to settle, Hall-Jackson believes her client should be paid punitive damages as well.

"The difference between the last lawsuit and this lawsuit is those were customers and now we're talking about employees," Hall-Jackson said.

ABC7 reached out to the attorneys for Ed Napleton for a response, but as of now, we have not received one.