By Minal Singh
Northwest Asian Weekly
Ruhul Kayshel in Kirkland, is suing a former employer for discriminatory practices at Toyota of Kirkland.
Kayshel , who is of Indian descent, is suing Toyota of Kirkland and the O’Brien Auto Group for discriminatory practices against their employees and customers.
“One of our area’s biggest car dealerships is facing charges for discriminating against minorities. The lawsuit against Toyota of Kirkland started with a former salesman, and now more people are coming forward,” said a King 5 News anchor.
“We know that one former employee sued, but these are not new lawsuits that are going to be coming forward. These are just people who are going to be supporting that one man,” said reporter, Dan Cassuto.
“[Ruhul Kayshel] said that he was fired after a complaint to his boss here at Toyota of Kirkland about racial discrimination,” said Cassuto.
“You know, basically, he used to say f*** off this Indians, and kicked them out,” said Kayshel.
Kayshel sold cars at the dealership for two years, and says his boss discriminated against people from India, like him, every day, according to Cassuto. When he complained, Kayshel claims the dealership fired him.
“I told him this is going on and you should stop it,” said Kayshel.
“I got a text on my phone,” said Kayshel. “It said, you have been fired we don’t want you anymore.”
“The lawsuit’s moving forward and [Kayshel’s] lawyer says more former employees are moving forward,” said Cassuto.
“I want people to know there is an internalized racism happening throughout O’Brien Auto Group that’s not being stopped,” said one of the employees on the video.
“Comments were made regarding East Indians and Asians while I worked there. One of them for instance, see I would be in the back working on something and he [the plaintiff] would need somebody to come out front. He would say, ‘Hey, Dean, your stinky friends are back’,” said Dean Blackwell, who was referring to Ravindra Bangar and Kaprit Singh, who claim, as customers to have experienced discrimination for being Indian.
“It’s inexcusable to me,” said Blackwell.
“The customers aren’t suing, and neither are the former salesmen. They’re just talking about their own experiences to support Ruhul Kayshel,” said Capputo.
“I think they should stop this, and the higher management should know how to treat their employees,” said Kayshel.
According to Capputo, the Kirkland dealership did not respond to inquiry in the case.
According to the Seattle PI, “The people who have contributed affidavits to Kayshel’s lawsuit do not stand to benefit financially or legally from their statements, but Blackwell said he hopes the O’Brien Auto Group will acknowledge the alleged behavior of its employees.”
The O’Brien Auto Group is owned by Mike O’Brien, who briefly played as a defensive back for the Seattle Seahawks in 1979. (end)
Minal Singh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.