EEOC Claims Janitorial Service Deterred African-American Applicants with Criminal Background Checks

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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a lawsuit that claims janitorial service provider Diversified Maintenance Systems, LLC deterred African-American applicants by emphasizing the company performed criminal background checks, according to an EEOC press release.

The EEOC – the agency enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination – claims in its lawsuit that the Tampa, Florida-based company violated a federal law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin.

Since at least January 1, 2012, the EEOC charges that Diversified engaged in a pattern or practice of race discrimination against African-American job applicants in Maryland, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. areas by refusing to hire a class of African-American job candidates because of their race.

The EEOC said that district managers for Diversified in these areas allegedly instructed area managers to deter black applicants by repeatedly emphasizing to them that the company performed criminal background checks, causing African-American applicants to withdraw from the hiring process as a result.

The EEOC also charges that an African-American janitorial supervisor was subjected to severe and repeated acts of race harassment. In addition to racial slurs, the EEOC said the company subjected the African-American employee to other discriminatory practices and retaliated against him for opposing it.

“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,” EEOC District Director Spencer H. Lewis stated in the press release about the lawsuit, which was commenced by EEOC’s Baltimore Field Office.

The lawsuit EEOC v. Diversified Maintenance Systems, LLC, Case No: Civil Action No. 8:17-cv-01835, was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Southern Division. The complete EEOC press release about the lawsuit is available at www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/7-5-17.cfm.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) reminds readers that allegations alone made in lawsuits are not proof that a business violated any law, rule, or regulation.

ESR WHITEPAPER ON EEOC CRIMINAL RECORD GUIDANCE

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