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."