In a lawsuit filed in New York federal court, Mercedes-Benz Manhattan is charged with firing two employees after they complained about racist comments at the dealership.

Burnell Guyton and Andre Grammer, both African American, claim they found racist graffiti several times on bathroom stalls used only by employees. The two former employees say scratched into the stall wall was a stick figure hanging from a noose with Guyton's name below it, sexual drawings and "racially derogatory statements" according to Automotive News.

After they reported the offending graffiti, the two say they were fired almost immediately.

"When I first got there, I heard rumors of what certain people might say about an African-American running fixed operations. But it was just hearsay," Guyton tells AN. "Around the second year, when the writing started to show up, then it really hit home when you can read it on the wall."

The flagship Manhattan dealership is the only location owned and operated by Mercedes-Benz USA itself. Dealership management addressed the lawsuit in a statement: "We pride ourselves in providing an inclusive and supportive environment at Mercedes-Benz Manhattan. This lawsuit was originated by an employee who was terminated for cause and another one who voluntarily resigned without cause or provocation."


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  • 62 Comments
      Brian
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yay...pull the race card day again.
        Ivan Ivanovich Renko
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brian
        Because we all know that no white men could ever actually DO racist things, right, Brian?
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ivan Ivanovich Renko
          [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brian
        [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          ThinkAboutIt
          • 2 Years Ago
          Do you really want to use the argument of black on white crime ? Let's talk about over 400 years of white on black crime. I know what you've been trained to say in response so I'll reply now as I will not come back to read your ignorance. Reply: There's a HUGE difference between slavery and endentured servitude, educate yourself. P.S. That is an argument that you lost before you rolled out of your bed,(with your sister) this morning. You sound more scared than anything else...
        sunz_mobile
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brian
        Stop being Racist and there won't be a card to pull. Jerk.
          M5_4_life
          • 2 Years Ago
          @sunz_mobile
          Tunerb***h, I'm white, married to a wasp but you're an idiot!
        Dean Hammond
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brian
        tiresome isnt it, and its overuse has totally watered down its very fundamentals, cue Jesse and Sharpton...if theres a coat-tail theyre on it. That doesnt help the cause either...
        sunz_mobile
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brian
        Stop being Racist and there won't be a "Card" to pull. Jerk.
        sunz_mobile
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brian
        Stop being Racist and there won't be a "Card" to pull.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brian
        [blocked]
      Hossi Blumengaarten
      • 2 Years Ago
      well if ANY of you know hiring black people always ends up bad my dad has a business and the black guys suck, he is afraid of firing them because he thinks they will go after them I don't take crap, I make them work when I am there. pieces of crap thinking they will get free money by sitting down JODER
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Hossi Blumengaarten
        [blocked]
        mookieblaylock
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Hossi Blumengaarten
        you racist pos
        Rahlow James
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Hossi Blumengaarten
        You are a dumb fuk if you think you can make such generalizations. Maybe your dad sucks as a boss... Anyway, given the **** you are, I can't say I am surprised.
      Peter_G
      • 2 Years Ago
      @ Tunerboy: I had a black professor in College that said black people cannot be racist as they do not have the power to exert their will or opinions over someone else's. I was like "WTF?" and so glad he expressed such idiocy during the trial period of classes so I could drop his class without penalty (first week of semester). Likewise, who can say beyond reasonable doubt who authored the offending image and that it wasn't the employee who saw his termination on the horizon and wanted to hedge his bets?
        Toddley
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Peter_G
        Your professor was wrong. Anyone can be racist. With that said, there is no such thing as "reverse racism." If a black person discriminates against a white person, it is called "racism," not "reverse racism."
          truewhiteboy
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Toddley
          Reverse racism also refers to going the other way, so instead of treating someone worse because of the color of their skin, you treat them better (eg. offering a job to someone simply because they're Latino). I do agree though, it's still racism.
      Henry
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why do many of you find this hard to believe? Remember back in the early 90's when a Mercedes Benz Corporate officer stated that they didn't want black people in their cars especially the rappers? It took them nearly going bankrupt when they were losing $2-4 billion a year in the mid to late 90's as Lexus and BMW were eating their lunch for them to see their evil ways. So, judging by history, this may not be as far fetched. And remember, "For whom the bell tolls, hears it the most."
        Dean Hammond
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Henry
        so you are saying it was someone from mercedes corporate that had some spare time to "decorate" some toilet walls...correct?
        akuma810
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Henry
        So youre saying the black rappers saved MB form bankruptcy?
          Henry
          • 2 Years Ago
          @akuma810
          Quite to the contrary. Time saved them as people forgot. Now this may be a stark reminder. I hope for their sake that it's not.
        PikeAndPine
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Henry
        there are some who are just too quick to make an irrelevant connection, especially in the case of this Manhattan dealership. Why would they hire blacks in the first place? Why would they hire them and fire them on their complaint of race? Why aren't you questioning the validity of the story to begin with? There is a huge portion of journalism just aching for a story to paint america as the intolerant homophobic xenophobic, racist country that they think it is... this is the flagships of flagships, the only dealership that MBUSA owns, and they've soled numerous maybach's to blacks, asians, jews, and every type of wealthy manhattanite imaginable. Just because the charge is based on race does not mean the dealership is in any hot water at all, most of these cases are just dismissed and most of this dealerships vast and ethnically diverse clients and workers probably disagree with the charges.
          Abhi Interesingh Sin
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PikeAndPine
          Not really: just because the Mgmt hire somebody, doesn't mean that there aren't staff there who don't like the presence of a coworker unlike them. I posted this above, but it's analagous: "This isn't hard to believe. The Motorwerks BMW in Minneapolis is similar: the sales personnel, service advisors, and service bay staff are great. But their shuttle drivers don't like to drive minorities (and they never have enough loaners), and show their rudeness. I've gotten better service at Mazda and Honda dealerships. Also, the snoot-factor at some German marque dealerships is annoying, but that's probably a person to person thing."
      Hampton
      • 2 Years Ago
      Someone sees deep pockets
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Robt
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm sure the employee in question had a cellphone with him and was able to take photos of the graffiti, particularly what was scratched into the stall wall (because it can't be easily removed). If he can present them, then his case is a slam-dunk. If he can't, then his case should be thrown out.
        chest rockwell
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Robt
        A slam dunk? I'm pretty sure there are plenty more details to the case than AutoBlog posted, plus a picture really doesn't prove anything in this case. I could go carve hateful things about myself in the bathroom and take a pic - does that mean I get to sue? I also have trouble believing somebody found racist scrawlings in the bathroom, told their boss, then was almost immediately fired for reporting it. I'm sure there's much, much more to the story.
        turbomonkey2k
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Robt
        Hardly a slam dunk. In fact it's just the sort of thing one might do if they feared getting terminated and wanted to retaliate. Scratch something onto a wall where NO ONE CAN SEE YOU and claim it as evidence of a racist environment. Don't think it can happen? Remember a certain group of la cross players being targeted in North Carolina?
          War Llama
          • 2 Years Ago
          @turbomonkey2k
          Yep, exactly. This is a non-story.
        Dean Hammond
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Robt
        why?...was one of the dealership owners personally responsible?.....whos to say it wasnt a pi$$ed off patron or someone off the street?....or, whos to say he didnt do it himself?????
          Robt
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          Yes, that's all possible, but if there were a series of problems, and his claim is genuine, then it's extremely unlikely that an outsider was involved, and he should be able to document his claims. As to the possibility that he did it himself, that's another question.
      truewhiteboy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Jesus, yeah I don't think I'd be feeling comfortable working at that place as a paler person. Not quite automotive news, but I hope they're able to get the people responsible fired.
      Dean Hammond
      • 2 Years Ago
      find the perpertrators, penalize them...oh, thats right, THEY may not have deep pockets........e
      brian
      • 2 Years Ago
      An employment issue at a dealership has what to do with Automobile news?
        PheelACCD
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brian
        because it could influence Mercedes- Benz' reputation in the eyes of the public.
        michigan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brian
        Auto blog is not concerned with what is actually automotive related, hence the numerous stories about motorcycles, TV shows, movies, and video games
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      Fired for reporting graffiti?
      Z. Kesh
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's just about business.
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