A large janitorial service, Diversified Maintenance Systems, LLC, has recently been hit with a class action lawsuit brought on by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for refusing to hire African-American candidates and reprimanding opposing employees. The EEOC alleges that Diversified Maintenance Systems, LLC subjected their existing African-American employees to racial slurs and other discriminatory practices, and retaliated against them for their opposition.
The EEOC charges that since January 1, 2012, Diversified Maintenance Systems, LLC has been involved in a pattern and practice of race discrimination against African-American job applicants across Maryland, Washington DC, and Philadelphia by not hiring them for custodian, lead custodian, or porter positions. Diversified Maintenance Systems, LLC instructed their hiring managers not to employ African-Americans unless “special permission” was granted. Furthermore, managers were also encouraged to deter African-Americans from applying by constantly reiterating that the company conducts criminal background checks.
The second charge brought by the EEOC claims that Diversified Maintenance Systems, LLC subjected their African-American janitorial supervisor, Dana Fields, to repeated race discrimination by referring to him by the “N” word in front of clients and other employees. Despite multiple complaints being made to upper management by Mr. Fields, the company chose not to take preventive measures in order to put a halt to the harassment in the workplace. They instead allegedly subjected Mr. Fields to retaliatory treatment through demotion and increasing his daily workload to 18 hours. The final straw came when Diversified Maintenance Systems, LLC fired Mr. Fields while he was hospitalized due to workplace stress that was caused by physical exertions that the company imposed on him.
The alleged conduct by Diversified Maintenance Systems, LLC violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The lawsuit seeks injunction, a requirement for Diversified Maintenance Systems, LLC to prove equal employment opportunities for African-Americans and cease their unlawful hiring practices. “This case involves charges of egregious discrimination based on race, where an entire class of black candidates were denied hire because of the color of their skin,” explained EEOC District Director, Spencer H. Lewis. “And under federal law, workers who stand up to employers and to oppose their discriminatory practices may not be punished for doing so.”