Two top attorneys in the Avis Rent-A-Car company ignored complaints that one of its franchises was refusing to rent cars to blacks, a review has found.
Avis, the nation’s second-largest rental car company, and the owner of the New Hanover Rent-A-Car franchise, John Dalton, were sued last month by three black women. They claimed Dalton told his employees in North and South Carolina to avoid renting cars to black customers.
The lawsuit also said Avis executives had been aware of racial bias complaints against Dalton’s franchises for years.
Avis, based in Garden City, N.Y., has said an internal investigation found 26 complaints of racial discrimination at Dalton’s franchise over eight years. The company’s new owner, HFS Inc., hired a law firm to do the review.
Avis’ director of franchising notified the general counsel in 1992 about discrimination complaints against New Hanover, the review found. One complaint was referred to the Avis Licensee Association, which reported that the New Hanover franchise denied any unlawful discrimination.
The general counsel took no further action, the review said.