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HYUNDAI SUCCESSFULLY DEFENDS SEXUAL DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT CHARGE

 FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., March 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Hyundai Motor America, the Fountain Valley-based importer and distributor of automobiles, announced today that it had successfully defended the company and a former top executive from unfounded charges of sexual harassment and sexual discrimination.
 "We are pleased that the jury has vindicated the company and its management," stated Adam Bloomenstein, senior counsel. "Hyundai does not tolerate gender discrimination or sexual harassment. On the other hand, we will steadfastly defend against claims of bias and harassment which are without foundation. We are especially happy that the jury has restored the good name of Mr. Juhn, our former executive, who was unfairly accused of harassment."
 Debra Douglas, who works in the company's Public Relations department, alleged that the company discriminated against her on the basis of her gender because it had not promoted her to an executive position within the department. The company pointed out at trial that Douglas had been promoted three times and had received a 75 percent increase in salary in the six years she has been with the company. The company also pointed out that Douglas did not possess the experience required for the position in question.
 Douglas also alleged that a former company executive, Mark Juhn, sexually harassed her sporadically throughout the period of 1990 through 1992. The company introduced evidence to rebut each of Douglas' claims. Douglas claimed, for example, that Juhn harassed her at a press reception in Seoul, Korea, in April 1991. The company demonstrated through witnesses, business records and Juhn's own passport that Juhn was not in Korea in April 1991 and did not attend the event in question.
 Douglas also alleged that the company engaged in a plan to "retaliate" against her for the filing of her charges. The company, through several witnesses, demonstrated that the company did not restrict Douglas' activities in any way and that the evidence showed, to the contrary, that the company continued to rely upon Douglas as a key spokesperson.
 After an 11-day trial, the seven-man, five-woman jury deliberated for only one hour and found for the company on each claim. The trial was held in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana, Calif.
 "The company has patiently waited for its day in court," said Nancy McClelland, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, counsel for Hyundai Motor America. "We believed that, given the opportunity to present our case, a jury would agree that the company had been more than fair to Douglas and that her claims of harassment were groundless. We are pleased with the outcome."
 Hyundai Motor America is a sales and marketing company distributing automobiles manufactured by Korea's largest auto maker, Hyundai Motor Co. The company does not tolerate gender discrimination or sexual harassment. Hyundai has an equal employment opportunity policy prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, sex, gender or national origin, and the company has a policy against sexual harassment that it vigorously enforces.
 -0- 3/16/93
 /CONTACT: Adam Bloomenstein, senior counsel of Hyundai, 714-965-3539/


CO: Hyundai Motor America ST: California IN: AUT SU:

BP-LS -- LA027 -- 6732 03/16/93 16:34 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 16, 1993
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