Oregon Department of Justice

Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum

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OREGON DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE REACHES CIVIL RIGHTS SETTLEMENT WITH SALEM CAR DEALERSHIP

March 2, 2012

Agreement requires used car dealer Jesse & Sons to pay $10,000 to a Salem couple over alleged discrimination

Attorney General John Kroger today announced an agreement with Salem-based used car dealer Jesse & Sons and its owner Jesse Ephrem for alleged discrimination based on national origin.

"My office will not tolerate businesses that discriminate against anyone because of their national origin, or for any other illegal reason," said Attorney General Kroger.

The Oregon Department of Justice Civil Rights Unit opened an investigation into Jesse & Sons after receiving a complaint filed by a Hispanic couple that purchased a used vehicle from the Salem dealership. When they tried to return the vehicle, Jesse allegedly asked them whether they had a green card and made threatening comments about their legal status.

Oregon civil rights law prohibits conduct by any business or public accommodation that distinguishes, restricts, or otherwise discriminates against an individual based on their race, color, national origin or other protected class.

Under the agreement and Judgment of Confession, Ephrem must pay $10,000 to Alejandro Soto and his spouse for damages resulting from the alleged discrimination. The Confession of Judgment will be filed in Marion County Circuit Court if Ephrem fails to pay the monetary damages according to the schedule.

Jesse & Sons also agreed to injunctive relief and must participate in anti-discrimination training sponsored by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. Ephrem must inform all of his employees about the agreement and refrain from discriminating in the future. DOJ would file a lawsuit for breach of contract to enforce the injunctive relief provisions if Ephrem fails to abide by any of the non-monetary conditions of this settlement.

Assistant Attorney General Diane Schwartz Sykes and Law Clerk Rebecca Guiao handled the case for the Oregon Department of Justice Civil Rights Unit.

The Civil Rights Unit works with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, the Department of Veterans Affairs and other partners to investigate and resolve civil rights violations.

Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department's mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, promote a positive business climate, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.

Contact:

Tony Green, (503) 378-6002 tony.green@doj.state.or.us |
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