Washington Woman Says She Was Denied Job At Car Dealership For Being Pregnant

| by Emily Smith
Ehlana Holsti holding babyEhlana Holsti holding baby

The Washington Attorney General has filed a federal lawsuit against a car salesman at Greenacres Motor Dealerships after he reportedly denied a woman a job because she was pregnant.

Ehlana Holsti, 18, attempted to get a job in June at the dealership in Greenacres, Washington, but was denied because she was pregnant at the time, KHQ reports. She now has a 1-month-old baby and works two jobs.

“I kept seeing this ad for a secretary position available,” Holsti told KHQ. “I was like OK, maybe I will call. It’s a car dealership. Sounds professional.”

When Holsti called, the dealership reportedly only asked for her age and if she had reliable transportation. She was then asked to visit the next morning for an on-site interview.

“He starts showing me around the lot, and we’re outside walking around, and he just is staring at me and looks at me and goes, ‘Are you pregnant?’" Holsti said. "I said, ‘Yeah’ … and he says: ‘I’m sorry, I can’t hire you. That’s not going to work for me.'"

After the incident, Holsti reportedly discovered that the car salesman who interviewed her, 79-year-old Monte Masingale, had made other women feel uncomfortable in the past. 

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a federal lawsuit against Masingale on Oct. 14, KXLY reports. The complaint, which was filed in Spokane Superior court, claims that Masingale only hires women and sexually harasses prospective female employees.

According to Ferguson, victims' reports reveal that Masingale has a pattern of making unwanted advances towards women in the workplace and making sexual comments towards them. The unwanted advances include groping and touching female employees and asking the women to have sex with him in order to keep their jobs.

Holsti told KHQ that the practice was unprofessional and “just weird.”

After the incident, Masingale called Holsti and apologized for his behavior, but she hasn't had any contact with him since.

Sources: KHQ, NBC News, KXLY

Photo Credit: NBC News , KXLY