Harley-Davidson Dealer Settles Sex Discrimination Lawsuit

Despite a 1964 US Federal law prohibiting sex discrimination, breaking into jobs in non-traditional fields, like being a Harley-Davidson mechanic, seems to continue to be a challenge for many women. A lawsuit brought by Bowen Dean alleged that The Dudley Perkins Company, a Harley-davidson dealer in San Francisco since 1914, denied her a job as a mechanic while less qualified men were hired. Further, the lawsuit said that she was fired as soon as she complained to the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Agency.)

The lawsuit was settled on June 7, 2010 and Dudley Perkins Company agreed to pay $55,000 to Bowen Dean as monetary damages; will have to revise its equal employment policy and complaint procedure; train its staff every year about sex discrimination and retaliation; post a notice stating the terms of the decree and how to complain about discrimination; include in its advertising a statement affirming its commitment not to discriminate based on sex; and report its hiring decisions to EEOC during the next two years.

24 Responses to “Harley-Davidson Dealer Settles Sex Discrimination Lawsuit”

  1. 1 J Jun 15th, 2010 at 4:25 pm


  2. 2 Jeff Nicklus Jun 15th, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    What a bunch of crap!

    Over & Out,


  3. 3 Lance Dickwood Jun 15th, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Chick mechs might just be the magic bullet that saves HD from its continuing downward service spiral for you morons who take your “buy-cycles” to the stealer for service.

    “Hi guy, I majorly buggered up your bike, but how ’bout these hooters . . . “

  4. 4 burnout Jun 15th, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    What job did she have at the dealership before being fired? Speaking for myself, my bad attitude always got me fired! heh. peace

  5. 5 Brandon Jun 15th, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    This lady must have had some kind of proof she was not hired because she is a woman, and that she was considered more competent that the guy hired instead of her. That’s bad. I would love to see more female mechanics.

  6. 6 Shifter Jun 15th, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    Maybe she was too pretty to work around a bunch of guys and the dealer was afraid that too little would be done at work and too much after dark.

  7. 7 Heavy Metal Jun 15th, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Whopee, 55 grand settlement. Some lawyer will get a chunk of that. I have nothing against women mechanics but I think she just marked herself for further review. She may get interviews in the future but any shop owner will know ahead of time and take that into consideration. Double edge sword when this kind of suit happens.

  8. 8 Brian Jun 16th, 2010 at 12:33 am

    I’ve been to this dealership plenty of times. Owner/partner Janet Perkins. Shame on you. If in fact this is all true. Such simple rules to follow could have put that $55K toward your next street party. But i’ve noticed one thing common to all HD dealers. Having hooters will only get you a job in Motor Clothes regardless of qualifications. And the more skin art, the better. At any price, HD dealers still want to promote a specific vision. I guess it is their right to do so as a business, but they gotta watch the feds, they want their cut too!

  9. 9 Some Damn Chick Jun 16th, 2010 at 1:09 am

    Sexism is pretty pervasive everywhere where mechanics are involved. It is often just small things that grate, you can’t prove anything. when going to one wrecking yard I know I get a friend to buy what I want, the guy charges me more than him.

    Sometimes it is small stuff like assumption of not knowing so much.I had one guy think he was complimenting me by saying “wow, i love a chick who knows a lot about HD’s” Just because I knew the difference between a Evo and TC.

    I am usually out of my league when doing some things, I need tech support quite a bit. some companies are brilliant about it when talking to a girl, Baker Drivetrain springs to mind, best tech support out there IMO. One guy at Total Performance refused to even bother talking to me.

    Seems this case was a settlement, so perhaps not proven in a court of law, but I would assume there was a case to answer as they settled for 55 grand..

    But having sued them I agree with “Heavy metal”, prospective employers will be more cautious of employing her in the future if they know. most people know history tends to repeat and people tend to sue again when they have won once already.

  10. 10 666 Jun 16th, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Of course it is in CALIFORNIA!!!!!

  11. 11 rucnred Jun 16th, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Court Records are publically accessible if you know how to easily over the internet. Try Altlawbeta.
    Future potential employers might want to be careful too in how they use such info should this female mechanic apply with any of them, per Federal & StateFair Labor Hiring Laws. If this was a meritless case, it would have been thrown out long before we found out the current details. And, it doesn’t sound like a settlement to me, though I could be wrong, leaks happen, sometimes for good reason ( I do pro-bono research for an atty who taught Criminal Law & Criminal Procedures at a local college). Settlements usually have some kind of language (a.k.a. “gag order” on the plaintiff or “injured party” who signs said settlement…) stating that it is not an ommission of guilt on the defendant’s part and cannot be used as evidence in future litigation by same said plaintiff. Rules of Procedures and Rules of Evidence can be found online too. Having big Ta-tas and presumptions of workplace interference & inproprieties, and hence forth there from… well, like, DAH! Standards of Qualifications from federally- accredited Educational Institutions are just that dudes and dudettes, are why you pay the big bucks to attend such places instead of taking fly-by-night classes. I say, you go girl, Bust a Knuckle! Break a Leg is for prissies!!!!

  12. 12 Rob Jun 16th, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Screwing or wrenching. Was it the question?

  13. 13 Bigal Jun 16th, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Right you are “rucnred,” It seems that a settlement for a True Blue, Sexual Harrasment case is at least 3 x 4 x or 5 x’s your yearly salary. There were some Mickey Mouse Issues with this Case for sure. I have a Psychiatric Dr. that has been involved with some REAL Sexual Harrasment suits against a HD Dealer and he has shared that the settlements were as I stated above and Harley Settles pretty quick in a real Case!!!!!!!!! Rob that Chick Mechanic only Wishes that “Screwing or wrenching” was the Real Issue! She would be looking for a new career, while she was enjoying Her settlement……

  14. 14 FRED JOHNSON Jun 16th, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    old saying; if it has tits or tires its trouble…autospherefred

  15. 15 Bigfoot Jun 16th, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    I don’t care if a man or a woman does a job. All I care about is if it was done right. If you hire a less qualified worker just because of their sex and put your customers life at risk because they might not fix something correctly, then you shouldn’t be in business. I had my insurance company bring my bike to a clown at a HD dealership and when I got the bike back I crashed when the rear brake disc came loose and wedged against the hub and locked the rear wheel in a corner. The guy didn]t put in the retainer clip. So just because it’s a guy that workes on it dosn’t make it better. I went to MMI and saw all sorts of things done wrong by students and teachers that were training them. Two of the male teachers were fired for teaching things the wrong way. I only care about who is going to treat something like it was there own and take the extra step to make sure it is done the right way.

  16. 16 JZ Jun 16th, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Dudley Perkins H-D is the second oldest dealership in America for a reason. A company doesn’t stay in business for four generations by treating people badly. Tom Perkins, proprietor and grandson of Dudley, is a gentleman through and through. I would stand side by side with Tom and his family any day. If it isn’t apparent, their mettle and character has been proven for nearly a century, and Tom’s for several decades.

    Jared Zaugg

  17. 17 Rogue Jun 16th, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    I know a lot of women who are damn better motorcycle technicians than some of the guys at the dealerships and private shops.
    I also have had a few work for me during the years in different companies I was with
    If she can do the job hire her.

  18. 18 No Fit Jun 17th, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    To be a real Harley mechanic you have to fit the picture. Long hair with a pony tail, a bunch of tattoos, beer belly, no teeth and a IQ of 10. This gal did not fit the Harley profile.

  19. 19 Todd8080 Jun 19th, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    It’s not what you think at all. The “chick” in question is an obese self-described butch dyke, not some hot little babe.


    I wasn’t there, but if I had to venture a guess as to why Perkins fired her, it would be because she was frightening customers.

  20. 20 MetalArts Jun 21st, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Just reading the comments seems to demonstrate how pervasive sexual discrimination is in the workplace… makes it very easy to file a claim(legitimate or not) and get a small payoff. The $55K is still cheaper than the cost to litigate, especially in San Francisco California. Another way to shake down the hard working employers in California.

  21. 21 Kip Jun 22nd, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    I agree. Most chicks would rather flirt with the guys, rather than hange his oil.

  22. 22 Vagabond Chickie Jun 23rd, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    I am not much on the computer when it comes to comments, I personally as a builder have been through “MANY” sweetie situations when I started wrenching on bikes 24 years ago – I had to prove myself and take a ton of crap just to get a parts job- I spent 15 years working in shops and NO ONE wanted to let me work as a tech- I didn’t get bent out of shape or quit or sue anyone for descrimination- I worked harder and built my own stuff after work and rode it in when I was done- 20 years later I still had to open my own shop to do what I wanted-

    I think that women everywhere should remember that screaming descrimination should only be used when propositioned for sexual favors to advance in the company- So they don’t want to hire you as a mechanic- Don’t get a lawyer- Get pissed off and prove that you are better than the other techs by enduring what you have to- working hard and proving that you are worthy-

    Of course that is only my take on it everyone can do what they want- but if you want to be respected and recognized for what you do YOU CANNOT MAKE IT ABOUT ANYTHING MORE THAN YOUR ABILITY- AND THAT YOU HAVE TO WORK HARD TO SHOW THAT YOU HAVE- gender has nothing to do with it- Hell many guys who graduate MMI have to work in the parts department and then work the service counter and detail bay before they can get a rack in the shop-

    PLEASE LADIES- know that it is not easy to deal with but screaming and lawsuits only make it worse for women who are willing to endure and work hard to get where they want to be- PROVE YOURSELF- in most any job that is worth having you start at the mailroom and work your way to the corner office even if your a harvard graduate.

    Peace Out! Love to Cyril!!!!!

  23. 23 Jeff Nicklus Jun 23rd, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Vagabond Chickie,

    Very, very well said! You couldn’t have hit the nail on the head any better!

    Over & Out,


  24. 24 Carmen In Texas Jun 23rd, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Athena, you are soooo right! Thats whats wrong with our world, instead of fixing things and showing people what your all about, its all about suing and blaming someone else, and the almighty dollar. Sickening when you think about it. Prove what you can do and you create a name and reputation for yourself. Don’t sue and bitch and whine.

Comments are currently closed.
Cyril Huze