Dudley Perkins to pay $55,000 settlement in gender discrimination case

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The nation’s oldest Harley-Davidson dealership will pay $55,000 to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit brought on behalf of a female mechanic who claimed the dealership refused to promote her from lot technician, then fired her for claiming discrimination.

The Dudley Perkins Co. has been selling Harleys since 1914, first in San Francisco and now in South San Francisco.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission , Bowen Dean Black Swan dreamed of being a motorcycle mechanic and completed a yearlong training course to make it happen.

The dealership hired her as a lot technician in June 2005. She was later assigned to a desk job in customer service and bookkeeping while the company hired two less-qualified men as mechanics, the EEOC says.

Black Swan filed a discrimination complaint with EEOC in February 2006 and was fired two months later, the suit alleged. The commission sued Dudley Perkins Co. on her behalf in 2008.

The dealership has since moved from San Francisco to South San Francisco.

Gaylynn Conant, a lawyer for Dudley Perkins, told the San Francisco Gate the company still denies it discriminated against Black Swan but settled to avoid the expense of a trial.

In addition to the money, the dealership agreed in the settlement to train its staff against sex discrimination and report all hiring decisions to the federal agency for two years.

Posted by Holly Wagner