Winnipeg dealer settles lawsuits over sexual harassment claims


WINNIPEG, MAN. – Vickar Mitsubishi has settled lawsuits launched by two former employees who had alleged wrongful dismissal after complaining the store was a “sexually toxic” workplace.

The Winnipeg Free Press reported on Saturday that notices of discontinuance were filed in court last week. Details of the settlement were not revealed.

The dealership made headlines this past summer when two former female employees sued the store. The pair alleged they dealt with regular sexual commentary and unwanted touching from other dealership staff.

They said their complaints to management were ignored and that there vocal opposition to the treatment led to their dismissal.

Both women sought financial damages for sexual battery, assault and battery and the intentional infliction of mental suffering, the paper reported.

The dealership’s lawyer, Wayne Onchulenko, wrote in a statement to the Free Press that Vickar Mitsubishi planned to host diversity training sessions for its employees as a part of its response to the claims.

“When this very disturbing situation was brought forward, we acted quickly to address it,” he wrote in an email in August.

“Internal and external investigations into the matter resulted in the departure of a manager and a change in workplace practices.”

The Vickar Automotive Group owns five new-car dealerships in the Winnipeg area along with an Isuzu truck outlet.

– With files from The Winnipeg Free Press